Global app market (or, walking the walk)

Many of you know already that we make a little app called Les Nombres for iPhone and Windows Phone to help you learn French numbers. It was originally created in late 2010 for the iPhone, to help the author who was learning French for the first time. The realization that an algorithmic approach would work in generating textual representations of numbers in French led to a simple but delightful iPhone application. Since its initial publication in the App Store as a free, ad-supported app it has been downloaded a few thousand times.

With version 1.2 the name of the application was changed to a more suitable “Les Nombres”, with the numbers being read by a native French speaker. This update sparked most of those people who had originally downloaded the app to update it to the latest version. Starting with version 1.3 the app costs US $ .99 (0.79 €)—and stay tuned for a nice little update later this year. (EDIT: the update is now available)

We thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at where the app was being downloaded from. The iTunes Connect report data from between late April and mid-July 2012 was used as the basis of this chart (select it to view full-size).

Les Nombres for iPhone Downloads By Country

The appeal of Les Nombres seems to be strong in countries which are (at least partly) French-speaking—France, Canada, Switzerland—which was a surprise to us, since the app was actually intended to teach French numbers to non-French-speaking people. We are still wondering about this; maybe small kids or immigrants are using the app? If you have any insight into this, let us know in the comments. It is also interesting that ‘Other’ consists of nearly 40 countries, so in total, people in at least 50 different countries are interested in this app. Thank you all!

We think this shows that it is a global app market out there, and that you should put some effort into localizing your apps. If a niche-market little application such as Les Nombres (localized only for French, English and Finnish) is downloaded in nearly 50 countries, just think of what your killer app could do when properly localized. Of course, in order to localize, you better internationalize first. And that’s where we can help.