Apteligent Data Report: Geographic Analysis Edition


Ahead of Mobile World Congress 2017, Apteligent has uncovered unique global mobility trends that impact enterprises responsible for mobile apps, device manufacturers, and wireless operators.

Our crash and churn report first quantified the correlation between mobile app crashes and increased churn rates. This report dives deeper and analyzes the extent to which the performance-engagement relationship differs by region (hint: it does!). In our regional analysis we also look at which Android manufacturers dominate handset usage, which Apple devices are leading in each region, and finally provide an analysis of the leading wireless operators.


The purpose of this section is to analyze which countries are the most and least sensitive to crashes. To measure sensitivity we analyzed both next-day app opens (nth-day retention, or day-1 retention) as well as overall churn (rolling retention). For a more in-depth discussion of these two types of churn/retention measurements, see our global crash and churn report.

In that report, we found crashes can reduce next-day app opens by up to 8x and can increase overall churn by up to 6x. These multipliers are based on the increase in the “baseline” level of churn that occurs at a 0% crash rate. Since baseline churn can vary by region, we wanted to choose a fairer mechanism to compare the various countries. Ultimately, we calculated incremental churn in percentage points in various regions, then ranked the result.

China Ranks in Top 5 Least Tolerant to Crashes

The above list ranks countries that have a very high short-term sensitivity to crashes. In other words, when these populations experience performance issues, the likelihood is higher that users won’t open the app on the next-day. Another way to view this is as a disproportionate negative impact on engagement. Worth attention on this list is that China, the most populous country in the world, is one of the most sensitive to crashes. It’s ranked fifth above for impact on next-day app opens, and second for impact on long-term churn (described in the section below). The “Points” column in the table above tells us that as a user’s crash rate approaches 100%, the next-day churn rate for the average user in China increases by 42 percentage points.

To put the baseline churn rate methodology into context, the normal amount of next-day churn in China at a 0% crash rate is 15%. This figure increases to 57% as a user’s crash rate approaches 100%.These figures exclude users who only open the app once, as we’re more concerned with the impact of crashes on an existing, engaged user base.

The US is in the top 25% of countries most impacted, ranking 18 of 84, with next-day churn increasing by 36 percentage points.

Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong Are the Most Tolerant to Crashes: Less Impact on Next-Day App Opens

The countries in the table above still saw a decrease in next-day app opens after crashes, but the existence of performance issues had an overall smaller impact.

Russia and China are the Most Crash-Sensitive Countries in the World

This list represents countries where long-term churn is most negatively impacted by the existence of crashes (the previous tables above were for next-day app opens). We again see China towards the top of the list. Interestingly, Russia appears in the middle of the global pack in short-term churn, but is the most susceptible to performance issues causing long-term churn. It turns out that next-day churn rates are high in Russia regardless of crashes. This means that if you do manage to retain a Russian user, the impact of crashes is much higher on long term retention.

App publishers have an even harder time in China, where it appears crashes have both an immediate and a long-term impact — users are highly unlikely to return give the app another chance to deliver a positive user experience. At the risk of speculation, we believe the abundance of apps in China presents a great deal of choices for consumers, so when an app doesn’t work well users simply move on to a competing app.

South Korea, Israel, and Australia Among the Countries Most Tolerant of Crashes

If you’re interested in the full list, please get in touch.

Overall, we did not find a clear pattern when comparing the countries in each impact category, although of those countries whose populations are most likely to churn after experiencing a crash, a relatively large percentage of them are developing economies. This may imply that “app maturity” is a factor. Mobile users in countries like South Korea, Israel, and Australia may turn out to be more tolerant of app failures since consumers have long been exposed to poor mobile user experiences.


The World of Samsung: #1 Android Handset Provider in 83% of the World

Despite the recent issues with the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung continues to dominate global handset usage. Our data estimates that they are the #1 Android handset provider in 83% of the world’s countries and regions. For this report we did not compare iOS market share against Android market share, but instead we focused on comparing Android manufacturers against each other. The device rankings below are measured by usage data based on billions of mobile application loads that Apteligent collects.


We analyzed 240 countries and regions/territories. Samsung was the #1 Android provider in 199 regions, #2 in 34 regions, and #3 in 7 regions. The following table lists the ten locations in which Samsung has the lowest share of Android usage:

In particular, Eastern Europe and Russia are dominated by Prestigio’s Android devices. One might guess, Japan is dominated by Japanese brands such as Sony and Sharp, however Samsung does edge out Kyocera and Fujitsu for the #3 spot in the country.

The rankings for the rest of the manufacturers are varied. The next popular manufacturer is Huawei who ranks in the top three Android manufacturers in 121 countries. The table below lists the results.

Most Popular Apple Devices by Country

The iPhone 6 is still the most popular iOS device across the global. It averages between the number one and number two device on a country-by-country basis. The iPhone 6s tends to be the more popular device in wealthier countries/regions (in terms of per-capita income); these include, among others, the United States, Japan, Qatar, and parts of Europe including Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Sweden.

Island Nations Lead iPad Usage

Our data shows that island nations are the most popular spots for iPads. Given that these regional economies rely heavily on tourism, it logically follows that they lead in the share of tablet usage. Top island regions include Saint Pierre and Miquelon (iPad Air 2 with ~25% of iOS usage), French Polynesia (iPad Air with ~11% of iOS usage), and Turks and Caicos Islands (iPad Air 2 with ~9% of iOS usage). This got us thinking that we should really compile our next data report from somewhere sunny.

The iPhone 7 Plus is the #1 iOS device in Macau and Myanmar

Although the iPhone 7 Plus ranks globally as the eighth most popular device, it’s actually the number one device in both Macau (18% share of usage) and Myanmar (15% share of usage). Macau is an autonomous territory of China, its gambling capital, and one of the richest regions in the world. This high concentration of wealth (in an area of fewer than 12 square miles) drove Apple’s newest and most expensive device to the top of the rankings. Myanmar on the other hand is not a wealthy country, but has one of the highest income gaps in the world. As a result, we speculate that the ruling elite in this country are largely responsible for the popularity of the device. Equatorial Guinea, the richest country in Africa, has an income inequality profile similar to that of Myanmar. There the iPhone 7 is currently the number one iOS device.

Palau and the Marshall Islands also have the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus as the number one device, although our sample size was a bit low for those regions. Similar to the iPad usage we saw among the broader set of island nations, these two island destinations rely heavily on tourism.


The map below is a great visual on the competitiveness of the global telecommunications markets. Each region is marked with the number one carrier by usage. Darker colors represent a larger market share for that carrier. In other words, 100% carrier share would indicate a complete monopoly and appear as the darkest shade on the scale. Many developing countries with state-run telecommunications find themselves on this side of the scale.

If you’re interested in the performance of global operators, we partnered with STL Partners to create MobiNEX. The score is a combination of mobile app network performance metrics and carrier download speeds. We found a clear correlation between the MobiNEX score and customer experience ratings of telcos. A new Apteligent-STL report is forthcoming. In the meantime our last report can be found here.


Verizon is the Most Used Carrier in 33 of 50 States

The map below says it all: Verizon has a strong foothold as the leader in the US market. In fact, as measured by our usage data, Verizon is the #1 carrier in 67% of the US (33 of 50 states). Verizon’s overall (unweighted) average per state market share is 35%. AT&T follows with a #1 ranking in eight states and an overall average 22% share, T-Mobile with a #1 ranking in DC and an overall average 10% share, and Sprint with a #1 ranking in 7 states and an overall average 15% share. Remember these figures are unweighted for population. In reality, T-Mobile is larger than Sprint despite those averages since they are ranked #2 (and almost tied for the first spot) in the states with the largest populations: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. Finally if you were counting the state rankings mentioned above, there are two states missing. C Spire Wireless is the #1 carrier in Mississippi and US Cellular leads in Wisconsin. Both of those operators have about 33% of the usage in the respective states.


Just as we examined markets where the leading device manufacturer does not have the most market share, we decided to look at US states where Verizon has failed to capture market share. The states below represent Verizon’s lowest in-state ranks against their competitors. Another state to mention is Oregon — the market is largely dominated by AT&T, and as a result Verizon only has about 15% of usage there.

Delaware here has an asterisk here because the data may be skewed. Please refer to our explanation on Delaware data in the section below.

The US States Most & Least Addicted to Apps

Most Addicted: Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland
Least Addicted: West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine

We have a very large sample size of mobile application loads broken down by geography. One interesting exercise is to normalize or divide this by population (“App Loads Per Capita”). The result can be used to rank states by the frequency at which its residents load mobile apps. In other words, it gives a view into which states are more or less “addicted” to mobile apps.

* We have an asterisk next to Delaware because our team feels this is largely due to large inflows/outflows of visitors due to its prime location in the transit-heavy northeast corridor (those travelers are not included in the population number, and thus not normalized). For example, if we included the District of Columbia it would be number three in this ranking, largely for the aforementioned reasons.


This report highlights geographical trends related to churn, device manufacturers, and carriers. Key takeaways include:

  • App users in Russia and China are the least tolerant of fatal app errors (and most likely to churn).
  • App users in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong are most likely to give your app a second chance after it fails.
  • In the long term, app users in South Korea, Israel, and Australia are most patient when experiencing app crashes.
  • Samsung is the number one Android handset provider in 83% of the world. Huawei, Sony, and LG follow.
  • The iPhone 6 is still the most popular iOS device across the globe, the iPhone 7 is currently ranked number four.
  • The wealthy Chinese citizens of Macau prefer the iPhone 7 Plus, as do the ruling elite in Myanmar, and as a result it is the number one iOS device in those regions.
  • Verizon has the highest usage among carriers in 33 of 50 US States.
  • App addiction measured by frequency of app loads per capita:
    • People in Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland are the most addicted to mobile apps.
    • People in West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine are the least addicted to mobile apps.


For details on how we define churn, please see the methodology section of our previous crash and churn report. For the sections of this report describing the impact of crashes on churn by geography, we’ve focused on Android metrics. We believe that viewing churn through the lens of Android data represents a more accurate view than using iOS data since the iOS platform limits us from sending a crash until the next app load. This means that it’s possible for a user to load an app, experience a crash, and never load the app again without ever counting the crash as a cause for churn (since the crash would be sent on the next app load).

Download a copy of the report