App Downloads Soar – But Why is Germany Lagging?

By David Knight |

The last week of 2011 saw the number of apps downloaded worldwide smash through the one-billion barrier for the first time. According to figures from analytics firm Flurry, a total of 1.2 billion iOS and Android apps were downloaded between Christmas Day and December 31. That compares to a weekly average of 750 million for the period from December 4-17.

But what may be slightly surprising is the small proportion of that figure accounted for by Germany – with 40 million, the Germans were even lagging behind Canada, with 41 million. The US led the way with a whopping 509 million, followed by China with 99 million and the UK with 81 million. With France tied alongside Germany on 40 million, is the language gap really big enough to cause such a discrepancy?

According to Flurry, 6.8 million iOS and Android devices were activated and 242 million applications were downloaded on Christmas Day alone, both one-day records. With Christmas the obvious factor in this spike, and so leaving countries which do not celebrate the holiday season as widely as elsewhere understandably lagging behind in terms of download numbers, it is still surprising to see English-speaking countries so dominant.

The majority of existing apps may well be in English, even if they are also available in other languages, but it is also a matter of how many non-English speakers use devices running apps in the first place. In another recent post, Flurry revealed that there were 10 million iOS and Android users running apps, again identical to France, with the US out in the lead on 109 million, followed by China, the UK and South Korea.

But things are inevitably changing. In a blog post, the firm said: “Looking forward to 2012, Flurry expects breaking the one-billion-download-barrier per week will become more common-place.  While iOS and Android growth continues to amaze, the market is still by all measures relatively nascent.”

So while people clutching their smartphones and tablets as they negotiate the streets is almost as common a sight in Berlin as it is in New York or London, it seems that we have some work to do to persuade the rest of the country to follow suit.