The share of Chinese apps dropped to 38% in 2019 from 43% last year, as per an analysis by app intelligence firm AppsFlyer
With majority private capital raised by new-age tech businesses going toward user acquisition and marketing, Indian apps managed to claim more installs than key rivals Chinese in 2019, despite TikTok and PUBG’s global domination. Chinese app downloads dominated Indian ones in 2018.
An analysis of India’s top 200 apps by install volume, by app intelligence firm AppsFlyer, showed that 41% were developed by local developers and firms in 2019 compared to 38% in 2018.
The share of Chinese apps dropped to 38% in 2019 from 43% last year.
“Whereas 2018 marked the dramatic rise of Chinese apps in India, the momentum this year has shifted back in favour of local players such as Indian payment apps, for instance,” AppsFlyer’s noted.
However, the “blue-sky” potential of the Indian market will bring in more foreign competitors in the coming years, the study said.
With 6.5 billion overall installs in the second and third quarters (upto September) of 2019 in India, foreign markets have begun to take note of rise of Indian app economy, analysts at AppsFlyer said, adding that the Chinese, however, continue to shore up on popularity in categories where they already do well such as news, entertainment and gaming.
The rise of the app market has also led to growth of non-organic installs (NOI)- app installs arising from a brand’s marketing activity and spends, and not spontaneous.
The average NOI per app grew by 38% overall with hyper-competitive finance (107%), gaming (51%) and food and drink (51%) categories, spending most to add installs.
App retention rates, though on an upward trend from 2018, are still at dismal levels in India, as only 2 out of 100 apps remain on users’ phones by day 30.
In 2019, retention rate was 23.4% on day 1 and it fell to 2.6% by day 30. This is an increase from 22.8% and 2.3% in 2018 respectively.
“Retention rates are a function of high competition across categories, quality of the apps, and average storage space in an Indian user’s device, among others,” Deepak Abbot, an analyst in the app market, said. In terms of cost of acquisition, users for travel apps at Rs 170 per install tend to be the most expensive to acquire.
In contrast, gaming apps posted lowest cost per install at around Rs 13.5.
“Despite the [AppsFlyer] report showing that share of domestic apps is growing, if you observe the top 25 apps on the Google Play Store, it’s still almost 70% global apps that hold a huge user base between them,” Abbot added, noting the progress still to be made.
The explosive growth of the market has also had an adverse impact.
As per AppsFlyer, India has now become one of the hardest-hit markets in the world for mobile app install fraud racking up $186 million in financial exposure.
From April to September 2019, around 20 to 37 out of 100 non-organic installs in India were registered as fraudulent, surpassing the global average.