Localizing Android applications

Android is currently fastest growing mobile OS. There’s no official numbers of Android geographical distribution but AdMob has released their monthly mobile metrics report with data of Android and iPhone device usage by country. We’ve discussed of iPhone localization in our previous post with older AdMob data so we will update that based on this data as well. However this post is now concentrating on Android.

Android geographical distribution

As we are localization blog, we are interested whether you need to localize your Android applications or not. So lets start by looking the geographical distribution.

Please Note that this data is based on AdMob report that is only measuring how many devices are making requests in their ad network. Due to the fact that AdMob ads are mostly shown in US websites this data is for sure skewed towards US. However I believe the data can give us a good direction.

As expected, United States and China are the biggest countries. Following United Kingdom and France. Distribution is not that highly fragmented as for example on iPhone and Symbian. With just English you can roughly reach 80% of the whole market.  Based on AdMob data, this would mean only 2M+ Android devices you don’t reach. It’s not that much if you also consider how many are willing to install or purchase apps (or even can because of platform fragmentation).

So I guess there’s no need to localize?

Well it depends how you look into this. Android is growing really fast and in coming years especially in Europe and Asia. With localization you can quite easily buy some fan base for your application in those countries. For now, it’s not about growing your market but basically providing good quality apps for your customers in hope of bigger market in the future.

Of course, in case you are Chinese or European developer make sure your app is available in English.

As being said, market is changing rapidly so we will follow these developments closely in the future here in Get Localization Blog as well.

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