Why are Android apps growing exponentially in developing economy countries?
In recent times, particularly during the covid-19 pandemic enforced lockdown over in many countries, the significance of Smartphones and related apps in daily life has come to the foreground of public discourse. From schools, universities to government offices, a large traditionally non-ICT sector has become dependent on these to an unthinkable extent. Even without pandemic and these emergency scenarios, Smartphones have increasingly penetrated the urban and rural market. A study shows that Smartphone users have grown from 1.57 billion in 2014 to 2.53 billion in 2018. This increment can be attributed to availability of a variety of devices, cheap and affordable data prices as well as shorter replacement cycles. A large section of this growth is based on the markets in developing economies like China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Vietnam, South Korea, Bangladesh etc. This spurt in Smartphone usage in traditional ‘third-world’ has not gone unnoticed by big corporations around the world. Two OS have profited from much of the increase in sales i.e. Android and iOS. Among these two, Android has reached almost generalized popularity due to its innovative and dynamic features, affordable prices and ease of access. This popularity of android has developed a virtual ecosystem consisting of a large number of android apps with free or paid content easily available in Google play-store or other localized app stores. There has been an exponential increase in the number of android apps for a variety of purposes. For example, there are separate android apps for music listening as well as learning or even for making music. There are apps for fitness and health related issues, for tours and travel, for news and entertainment etc. An average Smartphone/Android user spends most of his or her time on various apps rather than websites. Online Multiplayer Games with features of virtual or augmented reality experience has spread like a wildfire among the developed as well as developing countries. The prevalence of monetary transactions through mobile apps like Google Pay, paytm etc. has also made small and medium enterprises opt for app based services to reach a more mobile, sophisticated and widespread client-base. This has contributed to a large chunk of revenue for various companies along the app development and supply chain. This has stimulated employment growth in both directly related IT sector as well as other subsidiary sectors related to various apps like food or other items delivery i.e. Zomato, Flipkart etc. Various pundits predicted that the financial state of the mobile app economy will touch $188.9 billion in 2020. The largest chunk of this growth will be delivered undoubtedly by android apps and its continuing resilient market penetration in developing economies.