This is all about making the apps accessible to a wider audience by catering to the users native language.
I have been looking through some statistics (provided by Xyologic) from iPhone & iPad apps downloaded in August 2012 and found some surprising results.
The English based stores, USA,UK,Canada & Australia, downloaded roughly 632 Million apps:
- 85% (533.7 Million) of these apps were Free downloads
- 15% (90.18 Million) of these apps were Paid Downloads
- Australia had the highest free:paid ratio as 20% of apps downloaded were paid
- USA had the lowest free:paid ratio as 13.7% of apps downloaded were paid.
So, I started wondering what the downloads were like in the top 5 Non-English stores. These are China, Japan, Korea, France & Germany.
Within these 5 countries, 699 Million apps were downloaded in August, 67 million more than the English stores. However, the purchasing trends are very different in this demographic:
- 91% (638 Million) of these apps were Free downloads
- 9% (61 Million) of these apps were paid downloads
- Germany had the highest free:paid reatio as 20% of apps downloaded were paid
- China had the lowest free:paid ratio as 6% of the apps were paid
So the above was a little surprising around 70m more downloads compared to the English stores, but around 33% less paid downloads.
Also worth mentioning, even though Germany paid for 20% of its apps compared to China's 6%, China purchased around 24m apps. 14m more than Germany.
In summary, would you rather target a market where there are 632 Million downloads per month, or one that has 1.3 Billion? Of course you can expand this even further, maybe you want to target the top 10 downloading countries, based on the stats in August this covers 1.5 Billion Apps downloaded in the countries listed above, plus Italy, Russia, Brazil, Spain & Netherlands.
How to localize?
So, localization is important for apps. You can reach a much wider global audience and thanks to Corona SDK, it is very easy to implement into your projects... however I have pieced together some code to make it even easier... just 4 lines of code you need to add, and of course your translations.
For translations, I have been using Google Translate, but plan to have this proof read by a few friends of mine to make sure it translates well. There are various online services that offer professional translations too.
Big thanks to Monkeybin.no for providing a great language template to work from, and also hoan for creating the settings file.