Blog Post

Mapping the global trade routes of mobile apps

Mobile apps may not be shipped on galleons or via air freight, but they are definitely crossing oceans. According to data from VisionMobile’s recent developer survey, a big market around the import and export of apps has emerged globally, and as is the case in manufacturing that trade is lopsided with developing markets shipping their apps to North American and European shores.

Both European and North American European developers tend to be very insular, with nearly three-quarters surveyed saying the highest demand for their apps remains in region. What global trade the old world and new do enjoy tends to be with one another. Forty percent of European developers said North America is their top export region, while 22 percent of North American devs named Europe as their top export market, VisionMobile found.

In other regions, though, developers appear to be targeting their wares at foreign app stores. About four out every ten developers in Asia and Latin America are building apps for export, while in Africa and Oceania the numbers are even higher. Their trade patterns all differ though. According to VisionMobile, Latin America and Oceania are exporting most of their apps to North America. Africa and Asia balance their exports between Europe and North America, but Africa favors the former while Asia favors the latter.

Vision’s very detailed Developer Economics report covers many other areas of the developer market. Last month, we wrote about its conclusions on developer platform choices and revenues, which found that BlackBerry developers typically rake in more revenue than iOS(s aapl) and Android(s goog) devs.