Apple’s Newsstand for iPad has grown to become a US$70,000 per day business for the company and participating publishers, according to new a new report from research firm Distimo. The company also said that China has surpassed the U.S. as the largest market in the world for free iPad app downloads.
Apple launched Newsstand five and a half months ago as a dedicated source for magazine subscriptions on the iPad. Apple courted publishers for years, and the service appears to be gaining steam.
According to Distimo, the top 100 magazines, newspapers, and other publications offered on Newsstand are now generating $70,000 per day in the U.S. alone. That’s only $25.6 million per year (at that rate), but it could add to the iPad’s momentum as a delivery vehicle for magazines.
The firm said that the top five publications on Newsstand are (in order) The Daily (News Corp.’s dedicated newspaper for iPad), The New York Times for iPad, The New Yorker magazine, National Geographic magazine, and Cosmopolitan magazine.
China has played an increasingly prominent role in the world of Apple news in the last 18 months. Apple manufactures most of its products in the country, and it’s now the second largest market in the world for the company. This is in addition to controversy over working conditions in the country, a trademark battle over the iPad name, and Apple’s efforts to bring the world’s largest cell phone carrier into the iPhone fold.
An interesting milestone has been crossed with China, as Distimo said that Chinese iOS users now download more iPad apps than any other market in the world. That’s saying something when you consider that the U.S. has far more iOS devices in use than there are in China, where Apple only recently exploded in popularity.
The figure above shows the worldwide distribution of downloads based on the 300 most popular free apps. China and the U.S. are the top two markets, while Greenland, most of Africa, and parts of Asia are the least active in downloading apps.
Distimo said that in February there were 1.1 million apps downloaded in China, while 1 million apps were downloaded in the U.S. Another 1.9 million were downloaded throughout the rest of the world.
We should also note that Distimo said that U.S. iPad app downloads were down in February, possibly in anticipation of the new iPad, which was announced in March. The firm said it remains to be seen if the U.S. can regain the lead in the future.
We should also note that the U.S. remains the largest market in the world for paid apps. Indeed, catering to the English speaking markets of the world is key, as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom were the next three top markets for paid apps, as seen in the figure below.
Does Size Matter?
Distimo also offered numbers on the size of the various tablet app markets. According to the firm, the iPad has the largest number of tablet apps.
In February, Distimo said that there were 180,000 iPad apps on the App Store (Apple said there were 200,000 during its March media event to launch the new iPad). This makes it the second largest app store to its big brother, App Store for iPhone—the firm separated the numbers because this report focused on tablets.
In comparison, there are some 28,000 apps on Amazon’s Appstore for Android, 4,000 for Research In Motion’s PlayBook, and another 32,000 for Samsung’s Android tablets.
Google Play, the search giant’s effort to bring apps, movies, books, and TV shows for Android devices to one place, stands at 385,000 apps. However, the firm specified that, “only a small proportion of applications in Google Play are optimized for tablets.”
In other words, that 385,000 number includes a small number of apps with an interface designed for a tablet, while the rest were built for Android smartphones.