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A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

Google Play has generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, reaching a 70 percent share of worldwide downloads in 2017, according to a new report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Android Market, now called Google Play. The report also examined the state of Google Play’s marketplace and the habits of Android users.
It found that, despite the large share of downloads, Google Play only accounted for 34 percent of worldwide consumer spend on apps, compared with 66 percent on the iOS App Store in 2017 — a figure that’s stayed relatively consistent for years.

Those numbers are consistent with the narrative that’s been told about the two app marketplaces for some time, as well. That is, Google has the sheer download numbers, thanks to the wide distribution of its devices — including its reach into emerging markets, thanks to low-cost smartphones. But Apple’s ecosystem is the one making more money from apps.
App Annie also found that the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region accounts for more than half of Google Play consumer spending. Japan was the largest market of all-time on this front, topping the charts with $25.1 billion dollars spent on apps and in-app purchases. It was followed by the U.S. ($19.3 billion) and South Korea ($11.2 billion).
The firm attributed some of Google Play’s success in Japan to carrier billing. This has allowed consumer spending to increase in markets like South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, as well, it said.
As to what consumers are spending their money on? Games, of course.
The report found that games accounted for 41 percent of downloads, but 88 percent of spend.

Outside of games, in-app subscriptions have contributed to revenue growth.
Non-game apps reached $2.7 billion in consumer spend last year, with 4 out of the top 5 apps offering a subscription model. The No. 1 app, LINE, was the exception. It was followed by subscription apps Tinder, Pandora, Netflix and HBO NOW.
In addition, App Annie examined the app usage patterns of Android users, and found they tend to have a lot of apps installed. In several markets, including the U.S. and Japan, Android users had more than 60 apps installed on their phones, and they used more than 30 apps every month.
Australia, the U.S. and South Korea led the way here, with users’ phones holding 100 or more apps.

The report also looked at the most popular games and apps of all time by both downloads and consumer spend. There weren’t many surprises on these lists, with apps like those made by Facebook dominating the top apps by downloads list, and subscription services dominating top apps by spend.

App Annie also noted Google Play has seen the release of nearly 10 million apps since its launch in 2008. Not all these remain, of course — by today’s count, there are just over 2.8 million apps live on Google Play.


The full report is available here.

A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

New wearable tracker can transmit vital signs from a soft, tiny package

 Body sensors have long been bulky, hard to wear, and obtrusive. Now they can be as thin as a Band-Aid and about as big as a coin. The new sensors, created by Kyung-In Jang, professor of robotics engineering at South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, and John A. Rogers, Northwestern University, consists of a silicone case that contains “50 components… Read More

New wearable tracker can transmit vital signs from a soft, tiny package

It’s A Disney Party! DeNA & Disney Team Up To Launch Mobile Games Worldwide


Disney and Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA announced a new partnership this morning that will see their first jointly developed mobile social games launched on DeNA’s Mobage social gaming platform, beginning later this month.

The first title to arrive, “Disney Party,” was released on March 28th to the Mobage network in Japan, which serves a mobile gaming audience of over 35 million. On April 2nd, a second title will arrive in Japan called “Disney Fantasy Quest.” These two games will involve Disney’s own characters, but will be followed by a third, (yet to be named) card game battle that’s based on Marvel Comics characters.

The two companies aren’t only focused on Japan, despite DeNA’s Japanese roots – the plan is to make all three titles available worldwide. Localized versions of the two games will arrive both as smartphone apps as well as on Mobage’s non-Japanese networks: Mobage Global for North America and Europe, Mobage China, and Daum Mobage for South Korea. They will be the first three jointly developed titles released outside of Japan.

In addition, the new agreement will also see Disney and DeNA teaming up on other efforts, including Disney movies, Disney TV shows and smartphone apps. Disney Japan’s president said at a news conference that he hoped the unnamed Marvel Comics game would help raise awareness in Japan where the characters don’t have a built-in audience, ahead of the film which opens in August. (The Avengers, perhaps?)

DeNA has been doing well as of late. The company posted a strong third quarter in February, which saw net sales up by 16%, boosting its valuation to $4.8 billion. It’s now working on building up its presence in the U.S., Europe, China and South Korea – and this Disney deal will certainly help.

It’s A Disney Party! DeNA & Disney Team Up To Launch Mobile Games Worldwide

BilltoMobile Partners With Discover On Mobile Payments Push


On the heels of mobile payments service BilltoMobile’s launch of a one-click checkout solution for the mobile web, the company is today announcing a partnership with Discover. Through the agreement, Discover’s e-commerce merchants will now be able to offer carrier billing as a possible payment option at checkout.

For background, BilltoMobile, which already has relationships with all four major carriers in the U.S. (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), allows consumers to use their mobile phone number as their payment option at checkout. This is useful in targeting those who aren’t comfortable with entering their credit card info online, as well as those who simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to type in the info on the small keyboard of their mobile phone.

Prior to the launch of the newer one-click system at the beginning of the year, the process involved was a little more cumbersome. Users had to enter in their number manually, sometimes a zip code, then wait for a verification code that was sent to their phone through an SMS text. The one-click system is now able to identify a user’s mobile number at checkout automatically thanks to deeper integration with carrier partners, the company explained.

The new partnership with Discover is being heralded as a “marketing agreement” which aims to help drive adoption of carrier billing in digital goods, mCommerce and the general mobile payments space.

Currently, BilltoMobile serves approximately 290 million users in the U.S. through its carrier relationships. The company’s strategic investor and majority shareholder, Danal Co. Ltd. of Seoul, South Korea, says it has now processed $2 billion in U.S. dollars last year ($4 billion to date), and over 30% of last year’s transactions came from the purchase of physical goods. The company believes this new partnership will help it bump up those numbers, specifically in area of digital goods and services.

BilltoMobile Partners With Discover On Mobile Payments Push

Samsung Toiling Away On Bezel-less Galaxy B Smartphone?


Judging by the way Samsung is trying to eliminate bezels from their products, you’d think Samsung found that extra rim of material offensive somehow. The consumer electronics titan is already working on ridding your next television from the confines of a bezel, and if a new report South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper holds true, one of their next smartphones will be the first to feature an edge-to-edge screen.

Aside from a small area along the top of the device that houses a speaker and a front-facing camera, the screen on the Galaxy B is reported to cover all of the device’s face. If the bezel is indeed non-existent as the report claims, Samsung may be forced to ditch the familiar rounded-corner design they’ve become so fond of.

Creating a device that’s all screen is enough of a technical challenge, so I doubt that they would go to the trouble of developing a display with rounded corners just so their design language isn’t compromised.

Aside from word of that impressive screen, the MBN’s sources couldn’t deliver any additional specifications. As SlashGear points out though, it’s possible that the Galaxy B will sport one of Samsung’s new quad-core Exynos processors, which would probably propel this thing into the flagship zone.

So could the Galaxy B ultimately become the oft-rumored Galaxy S III? It’s certainly possible, but for now we’ll have to wait and see — MBN’s sources point to a tentative release date in either Q2 or Q3 of this year.

Samsung Toiling Away On Bezel-less Galaxy B Smartphone?