Apple is China's top brand device - Newzoo
But local Android stores are expected to generate over $1bn more in revenues than iOS in China this year
According to Newzoo's China Mobile Games Monitor, which it launched in collaboration with TalkingData to cover the performance of all device brands, app stores, games, genres and publishers, there are currently 257 million active Apple devices in China - with a 32 percent coverage rate in China as of May 2015, that makes Apple China's top brand in devices used. Specifically, the iPhone 6 surpassed the iPhone 5s in May as the most used iOS device in China. Additionally, last year Apple generated more than $37 billion in China, which also makes it the top technology brand in China by revenues.
While Apple's dominance is interesting to note, from an app revenues perspective, it's Android that's dominating. Newzoo expects China's mobile games market to reach $6.5 billion in revenues this year, which would be over 20 percent of the $30.1 billion generated worldwide (and means China is the world's biggest mobile gaming market, ahead of the US' forecasted $6.0 billion). Interestingly, Newzoo anticipates that Android app stores in China alone will generate revenues of $3.6 billion in 2015, or 12 percent of the global mobile games market, whereas iOS will generate $2.3 billion in China.
While iOS and Google Play seem like the obvious choices for developers, Newzoo noted that other opportunities exist: "The seemingly fragmented Android ecosystem in China makes many developers reluctant to tap into the enormous revenues generated outside Google Play and iOS. However, a data-driven app store strategy, including penetration, usage and crossover of stores, is necessary to optimize monetization and maximize reach with minimum effort and resources. In fact, the China Mobile Games Monitor shows that more than half of Chinese mobile gamers can be reached by focusing on three to four local stores out of the list of more than 20. Thus, this dynamic app store ecosystem is becoming less fragmented and more inviting than ever for publishers."
Speaking of publishers, when it comes to China, no one is bigger than Tencent. Newzoo pointed out that Tencent is easily the top publisher in the country by revenues on both iOS and Android. This May, for example, Tencent published 29 of the top 100 grossing Android games and, staggeringly, 59 of the top 100 grossing iOS games. NetEase came in second place on iOS while iDreamSky was second to Tencent on Android. It's worth noting that Western game companies are starting to see more success in China as well, as Blizzard moved up five spots to become the ninth grossing iOS publisher and Supercell has actually held the number five position for the last few months. Newzoo also pointed out that Mojang has become the most successful Western company that publishes directly into the Android app stores, "as the popularity of Minecraft has exploded this year in China."