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Summary:

If you live in the U.S., how much time are you spending on apps built in country compared to overseas? Likely less then you were last year as lower development costs in other countries are fueling more mobile apps.

The mobile app economy saw a huge resurgence not long after the U.S-based Apple’s iTunes App Store arrived on the scene in 2008. Increasingly, however, more of these software titles for the iPhone, and later for Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone in other stores, are coming from outside the U.S., according to Flurry. In a blog post on Thursday, the company noted several geographic trends when it comes to who’s writing mobile apps.

Indeed, the percentage of mobile apps coming from the U.S. has recently fallen based on Flurry’s data, which comes from the more than 350,000 apps using Flurry’s ad platform.

Flurry mobile app trend

What does that mean for mobile app users in the U.S.? More time spent in non-U.S.-based apps, of course. Flurry’s data suggests that 40 percent of consumer time spent in the U.S. on mobile apps are for apps created in other countries. For now, the majority of in-app time is still through home-grown apps, but the trend indicates this may not be the case much longer. And in some countries, notably the U.K., more time is spent in apps created overseas:

Flurry apps by country

Developers with a global view or a big overseas hit may be leading this trend and there are several notable examples: Angry Birds from Finland, Cut the Rope from Russia and Fruit Ninja from Australia are relative household names around the world at this point. And Flurry expects a continuance of the international trend, saying “[A]s of June of this year, developers in twenty-three countries contributed at least 1,000 apps to the more than 350,000 apps Flurry measures worldwide.”

So why the big growth in apps around the world? Reduced barriers to entry thanks to the app stores, is one reason, while low costs for development overseas are easily another. Does that matter to users of the apps? Probably not. But for U.S.-based developers, especially those with a more localized and not globalized view, the competition for mobile app hits is heating up.

  1. Nicholas Paredes Thursday, August 29, 2013

    Having gone from overseas development to local, I will comment that a company needs to retain app knowledge as they progress to more advanced personalization mechanisms. Development scenarios include a hodgepodge of service layers and apps, where the app view layer is frankly the cheapest aspect of the process. Building the teams that understand your customers, processes, business practices, strategic efforts, and development environments is something you should hand to a portable team as a last resort.

    It costs tens of thousands to develop an app and tens of millions to develop a mobile business.

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  2. I’ve actually seen a resurgence of entrepreneurs choosing to work with US based mobile developers and firms. Why? Sometimes the labor arbitrage possible overseas doesn’t beat the cons: poor communication, time difference, and culture challenges. Many people go overseas, then understand the difficulties and hire someone local. We’ve actually assembled top US based web and mobile developers here- http://matchist.com

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