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The potential development impact of mobile application vendors in developing countries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479982837
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS 2015 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 11 Nov 201512 Nov 2015


ConferenceIEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS 2015


This study focuses on the state of application development in developing countries. The first objective is to estimate the existence of application vendors locating in developing countries. The second objective is to identify some reasons for developing country software vendors to enter mobile application markets rather than more traditional software markets. We argue that app stores offer a possibility for developing countries to pass some of the problems that come with industrialisation by partly post-industrialising directly. This study is divided to two phases which study the existence of application vendors in developing countries and their characteristics from different viewpoints. The first phase focuses on the analysis of the most popular applications in Google Play, Apple Store and Windows Phone Store. The second phase starts by analysing the email addresses of application vendors who sell their products in Google Play marketplace for devices using Android operating system and continues by sending questionnaire to those application vendors whose email addresses has country domain belonging to developing country. Our study shows that mobile applications are developed in developing countries, although, the biggest part of application vendors is located in developed countries. Among developing countries, most important mobile application producers belong to upper-middle income economies, such as China or Russia, or to lower-middle income economies, such as India. However, there appears to be few application vendors who operate from low income economies, such as Bangladesh or Kenya. According to our results, application vendors located in developing countries choose to develop mobile applications largely due to same reasons than application vendors located in developed countries. They prefer mobile application marketplaces, because they offer easy access to large amount of potential customers. Android platform is appreciated for its low development and access cost, however, it is criticized for the wide range of customer interfaces.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • App economy, Digital Divide, ICT4D, Mobile application