Distimo: Korea Ranks No. 3 Worldwide for Free iPhone App Downloads

New figures from analytics firm Distimo have revealed the rather astonishing fact that Korea ranks No. 3 in the world for daily downloads of free apps from Apple’s App Store.

According to Distimo’s analysis, Korean iPhone users downloaded an average total of 1 million free apps per day in August. This placed it third behind the United States, at 4 million daily downloads, and China, at 1.5 million. It scarcely needs to be pointed out that in terms of population, Korea is a shrimp beneath those two whales.

This dizzying growth is indicative of just how fast Koreans have taken to iPhones, which, lest we forget, only arrived in the country in late 2009.

Making this achievement more remarkable still is that, rather than submit all its games to  being classified by Korea’s Game Rating Board, Apple earlier this year stopped selling games in the country. (However, with the government recently scrapping those requirements, that could be set to change soon.)

But before app developers get too excited, Borbala Bakonyi, writing on the Distimo blog, sounded a note of caution:

Although the overall number of downloads has been steadily increasing in Korea, this is mainly due to the free applications: the proportion of paid downloads is still much smaller than in Europe or the United States. This tendency seems to be true for all of Asia.

In good news for local developers, Bakonyi added that “local publishers reign in the Top 300, which leads us again to the conclusion that localization might be the key for becoming popular in this area.”

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