EghtesadOnline: Iranian Android market Cafe Bazaar reviewed the 132,000 apps published on its platform and released a report listing the most popular ones.
The report published on Blog.cafebazaar.ir provides insight into Iran’s growing Android industry by detailing the latest trends in the sector.
With more than 40 million users, Cafe Bazaar is the country’s largest mobile app publisher and its seasonal and annual reports enable business insiders and analysts feel the pulse of Iran’s Android market.
According to the report, the most downloaded e-commerce app is the homegrown customer to customer e-commerce service Divar, Financial Tribune reported.
Its data show that the app category registering the highest growth rate is financial services with a 43% year-on-year rise in the number of downloads.
Users on average have 26 tools installed on their handsets. One of the highly used categories of apps is messengers. Each user have more than six messenger apps installed on their handsets.
Major categories are tools with 12,024 apps published in this group, followed by health and sports (4,368), travel and transportation (2,578), social media (2,227) and shopping 2,072.
The category of financial services with 1,200 apps has a large share of the software published on Café Bazaar.
Most of these apps have been developed by banks and fintechs. The sector has observed significant growth over the past few years.
For instance, major Iranian online payment service provider Asan Pardakht observed a 50% jump in the number of its users. The app has been downloaded some 9 million times.
On average, each Café Bazaar user has 1.6 apps that pertain to financial services.
Shopping apps and online sales services have become vastly popular with Iranians. The category on the Android market is notably crowded with numerous apps that mostly offer similar services.
The leading apps in the sector are Divar, Sheypoor and Digikala, with a respective YOY growth of 20%, 10% and 20% in the number of users.
Some 17 million people downloaded Divar’s app from Café Bazaar. Sheypoor has been downloaded over 5 million times and Digikala registered 3 million hits.
Each Café Bazaar user has at least one app from the category on their handset.
Travel and Transportation
This category includes ride-hailing apps, online travel agencies and hotel booking services, along with navigation apps.
Observing a 20% YOY growth, the Android app of online taxi firm Snapp has been downloaded 7 million times from Café Bazaar. Snapp is followed by its archrival Tap30 with 2 million downloads and a 30% YOY growth.
Homegrown navigation app Neshan has been able to increase its users’ number by five times, thanks to supportive policies introduced by online taxi firms. The app has been downloaded 1 million times.
Over the past year, Snapp and Tap30 have barred their drivers from using international services like Google Maps and Waze and requiring employees to install Neshan, or other Iran-made navigation apps like Balad.
Balad also observed a1,000% YOY hike in the number of users and close to 500,000 people employ its services.
Social Media Platforms, Messengers
With close to 23 million downloads from Café Bazaar and a 20% YOY growth, Instagram is the leading app in this category followed by WhatsApp with 19 million downloads and a 50% YOY rise in the number of users.
A locally developed Telegram “fork” stood at third place with close to 13 million users.
In software engineering, a “project fork” happens when developers take a copy of the source code from one software package—in this case, Telegram’s source code—and start independent development, creating a distinct piece of software in the process.
So far, numerous Iranian programmers have developed their own versions of Telegram. Some of these forks are Telegram Talaii, Telegram Farsi, Mobogram, Irangram and Telegraph.
While Telegram has been banned in Iran since 2018, it is still the most popular messaging app and social media platform in the country with over 40 million users.
Most Iranians employ VPN and proxy services for accessing Telegram. However, some forks can be used for accessing the services without using proxies.
While most cybersecurity experts have cautioned people against employing the forks, Cafe Bazaar data show that such apps remain highly popular.
As per a judicial order, Café Bazaar removed Telegram from its market link in 2018.
The Iranian Android industry’s net income reached 2.58 trillion rials ($18.5 million) in the last fiscal year that ended on March 20, 2019, marking an 89% YOY increase.
Over 21,668 developer teams have published their work on Cafe Bazaar. While only 28% of the developer teams are based in Tehran, they hold a 71.6% share of the market turnover.
After Tehran, the provinces of Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan have the largest number of developer teams with a respective share of 8% and 7%.
In terms of net income, Tehran is followed by Khorasan Razavi Province with 11.8% and Alborz Province with 2.5%
A total number of 162,870 applications, of which 31,000 were games, have been published on Cafe Bazaar, such that 26.8% were programmed in Tehran, 8.9% in Gilan Province and 8.6% in Khorasan Razavi.
By March, 1,653 Iranian firms had released products in the online market, which had over 10,000 active installs each.
Furthermore, 375 Android game makers published products that have over 10,000 active users.