Apple Inc.’s Next Task: Making Chinese Users Pay For Software

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Apple’s iPhone apps were downloaded the most in China last quarter, with developers getting interested in designing apps for the company following the success of the phones in the country. However, the next challenge for Apple will be to make Chinese users pay for the downloads, says a report from Bloomberg.

China a big market for Apple

For the most recent quarter, China ranked first in mobile downloads outpacing even the U.S. However, the U.S. accounted for higher revenue, according to App Annie, a website that tracks mobile software. China is now the top market for iPhones.

Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, told Bloomberg, “It’s going to be tricky just because the buying of apps is not as big there.” Bajarin said that it cannot be said with certainty that all of a sudden people are going to start spending money on the apps.

Last year, Apple paid around $10 billion to app developers, and since the launch of the App store the pay has been around $25 billion. Apple reported that Chinese app developers have developed 221,000 apps worldwide and have been paid $3.4 billion, with the majority of payments occurring in the last 12 months. Also the iPhone maker claims that iOS apps have helped in creating 1.5 million jobs in China.

Momentum building in China

With the changing times, China is getting more interested in developing software for Apple’s platform. In China, the latest bigger-screen iPhones helped Apple to register more than a 70% growth in revenue, and unit sales of the iPhone in the region outperformed those of the U.S. for the first time.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that in the near future, China will become the company’s largest overall market, and he is looking to set up more retail stores there by mid-2016. Cook said that Chinese developers are taking a substantial interest, adding that one can see now enormous momentum building in the developer community as well.

The Apple CEO now has the responsibility of pushing Chinese programmers and other software builders from across the world, with more than 5,000 people coming to attend the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco next week. If users agree to pay for apps, it will open up a new revenue stream for app developers who otherwise tend to make apps for regions with high sales.

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