Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Korea in Google's 2016 Asia-Pacific apps report

Google posted their Mobile Apps in APAC: 2016 Report last month, which details trends in mobile phone usage across the Asia-Pacific region. Since I only care about Korea stuff, here are some interesting excerpts from it about Korea.

First take a look at this chart to see just how dominate Korea is in smartphone penetration and app downloads. Looks like Koreans installed something like 5 fewer apps this year, but still lead the region at well over 50. I need to get to the app store ASAP since now I realize I am really bringing down that average.

Smartphone penetration and number of installed apps in Asia-Pacific. Image: Google

Smartphone penetration and number of apps installed
Korea still reigns supreme as the top app market in the region. Although Korea’s user base may have plateaued (it’s likely close to its ceiling for smartphone penetration, and its number of apps installed fell from 57 on average last year to 53 this year), there’s still plenty of room for time spent and frequency of app usage to grow in Korea.
Koreans in particular love messaging apps. On their own, Korean users spend almost half the amount of time on social and messaging apps as the total usage from all the Southeast Asian countries combined.

Next, here's what Koreans are doing on their phones more this year than last year.

Year on Year change in daily app usage in Korea. Image: Google

When it comes to app usage, most countries in APAC use apps most often for social networking and messaging. In Japan and Korea, however, people more commonly use apps to find relevant information through Search and News apps.
The daily usage rate has increased in all app categories over the past year. The largest increases in Japan were in the Messaging category, largely driven by LINE’s increasingly strong market acceptance and popularity. In Korea, the big increase in Lifestyle and Finance apps indicates how immersed apps are to people’s social lives.

I'm guessing those finance apps are being using their phones for online banking and online shopping, since even in 2017 it's still a pain in the ass to bank and shop on desktop. Plus don't forget that Korea's Top App for 2016 was an easy-to-use money transfer app called Toss. Lifestyle apps? I wonder if Instagram and Snow (which Facebook tried to buy) or other selfie apps fit those categories. 

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