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India Beats US in Mobile App Market Growth

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Indians downloaded over six billion apps in 2016, up from 3.5 billion in 2015, an App Annie report stated.

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NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — After overtaking US as the second largest smart phone market, India has now outpaced it to become the top country according to the number of app downloads from Google's Play Store: 6 billion  in 2016, up from 3.5 billion in 2015, analytics firm App Annie indicates. India's 71% growth was significantly higher than the overall 15% growth in app downloads around the world.

"India's phenomenal progress over the past two years is even more impressive when considering its potential for further gains. In 2016, India surpassed the US as the second largest smart phone market due in large part to a rise in domestically produced smart phones. This is only the beginning, however, as India's smart phone penetration is still below 30% and its economy is poised for massive growth," the report said.

Facebook and its cousin Whatsapp along with mobile web browser UC Browser were the three most popular regarding the number of downloads. Facebook and Whatsapp maintained their dominance in terms of usage as well, while Google Maps was ranked number three.

In revenue terms, Netflix topped the list followed by online dating app Tinder and professional networking app Linkedin. Netflix, the online streaming app had entered the country a year ago. App Annie's revenue rankings are based on paid downloads and in-app purchases and excludes advertising.

Globally, a typical smartphone user uses 30 apps every month.

Gaming continued to be the biggest driver of downloads and revenue and one of the biggest headlines of 2016 was the phenomenal success of Pokémon GO. The app is an offering from Niantic Inc., a company owned by Alphabet Inc.(formerly Google).

"Despite launching in July, it remained in the top five apps for worldwide revenue in the last week of the year. And the year ended with the release of the much anticipated Super Mario Run, which became the #1 app in 148 countries," the report said.

​Candy Crush, Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 were the top three games downloaded in India in 2016. India has witnessed a dramatic shift in online streaming segment over the past six months. Total time spent on the top 10 video streaming apps including Hotstar and Netflix on Android phones in India increased 600% between July and December 2016 compared to the same period a year ago, the report said.

"App adoption is growing rapidly in emerging markets including India and Indonesia- while mature markets are seeing apps challenge and change traditional industries including retail, entertainment and banking," said Danielle Levitas, senior vice-president of research at App Annie in an emailed statement.

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