China has overtaken the U.S. to become the largest market in the world for iOS App Store revenue, earning over $1.7 billion in Q3 2016 versus just under $1.5 billion. This is according to a report by app intelligence company App Annie, which notes that Chinese consumers are spending more than 5 times the amount they were spending just two years prior.
Now leading the United States by over 15%, China’s growth in iOS revenue is projected to climb further by 2020. The country has become an increasingly important market for Apple in a relatively short time in terms of hardware sales so iOS revenue is just the result of that.
Gaming is largely responsible for the lion’s share of that growth, while Entertainment, Social Networking, Books and Photo & Video applications were also among the top-grossing categories in China. In fact, games drive 75 percent of all App Store revenue across all countries, even though non-game apps make up 75 percent of the store.
Looking at specific apps, App Annie highlighted the worldwide success of Pokémon Go, reaching $600 million in revenue in well under 100 days, faster than any other app to date. The initial popularity is starting to wane, but Pokémon Go still accounts for 45 percent of total time spent in-app compared with the rest of the Top 20 games.