China May Be on Pace to Become World’s Largest Market for iPhone App Downloads

According to the findings of a new Distimo study, China has effectively emerged as the second biggest market or Apple App Store downloads in the world, second only to the United States.

Distimo reports that while the number of app downloads in Asia “grew significantly” during the first six months of 2011, downloads during the same timeframe in western countries simultaneously decreased.

This reality is leading some mobile industry analysts to believe that China will soon become the world’s largest consumer of mobile apps. After all, Apple only launched a tailored App Store for Chinese consumers last Fall.

For developers, the opportunities have become enormous, particularly given that a comparison of the most popular categories between the United States and Asia “revealed that there are no significant differences between content preferences. Hence, iPhone developers could offer the same type of applications in both Asia and the United States,” the report found.

On the other hand, the proportion of paid downloads and the overall revenue in Asia “still lag behind that of the United States and Europe. Moreover, while in-app purchases became an important monetization method over the last year in many countries, it has not yet in Asia.”

Although much of the report’s attention centers on China, Distimo finds that it’s really Japan – not China – that generates the majority of the revenue in Asia when it comes to iPhone app downloads.

To read more findings from the Distimo report, click here.