Paragon Software releases the latest report on reference apps trends in the mobile and PC markets

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After the release of iOS 8, Android is still skyrocketing, while iOS remains the cash cow.

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Paragon Software Group, the world’s leading dictionary developer for mobile devices, tablets and PC, announces the major market trends in digital publishing with more than 1500 dictionary and reference applications downloaded and sold throughout the network of all major app stores worldwide in 2014. According to several major statistics companies, including analytic reports, the “education” and “reference” apps remain the leading categories for both Android and iOS. However, the growth for iOS apps is steadily decreasing, as the market matures. This tendency is confirmed with the recent findings of Paragon Software analysts.

Paragon’s reference apps for 38 languages were developed in partnership with the world’s leading publishers and are used by millions of users and academic institutions. The graphics below indicate Paragon’s key markets for downloads and revenues. The top countries include Germany, the USA, the Russian Federation, Austria and Switzerland. The German-speaking regions of Europe account for almost 45% of the company’s revenue and approximately 28% of downloads.

During the past two years, the mobile market has seen the increase in adaptation of the new freemium business model. The freemium model allows mobile users to test apps for free before purchasing them at app stores. Paragon Software has switched to the freemium business model giving dictionary users the option to preview and try out product features and learning tools to make the right choice in accordance with their personal language level and skills.

The freemium model especially benefits teachers and language instructors allowing them to select the most suitable content for their students when purchasing volume licenses. The freemium business model opened up better possibilities for users to preview apps to make sure they purchase exactly what they want. Unfortunately, the adaptation rate of digital reference products at educational institutions remains low. Many teachers reject the possibility of introducing the latest devices and dictionaries as apps to the classroom, still preferring exclusively traditional learning materials and print editions. Therefore, dictionary apps are still considered as supplementary materials in the classroom.

With the adoption of the new business models, the platform share for iOS vs Android apps has changed significantly. Android users for the three quarters in 2014 account already for 76% compared to 18% in 2013. However, the revenue share for Android apps remains the same as over the past 2 years. Many Android users expect to get apps for free or cheap, and are reluctant to pay for premium content.

The revenue distribution for mobile and desktop platforms has also changed in 2014. While iOS remains the cash cow, the combined revenue share of Windows Phone and Windows 8 has trebled. At the same time, the share of dictionary apps downloads for both platforms has decreased to 4.8% and 8%, respectively. The decrease in app downloads did not lead, however, to the decrease in revenue. There is a 2.5% growth in OS X revenue. This is mainly caused by the OS X growing popularity worldwide. Paragon’s report was compiled immediately prior to the release of iOS 8, but preliminary figures since 10 September show no significant change to this trend.

The recent survey by Paragon Software shows that the majority of the company's customers are language learners, yet less than 10% are teachers. However, the number of business professionals — presumably communicating with colleagues in foreign languages — accounts for almost 20%. This confirms the trend of requirement for fluency in foreign languages by business professionals in the ever increasingly globalized working environment.

Full reports for Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows PC and Windows Phone dictionary apps by Paragon Software can be found at:

About Paragon Software Group
Paragon Software Group is an innovative software developer focused on two dynamic growth markets. The company's comprehensive product line for the data storage market addresses the needs of data security, storage and management for PCs, servers and networks. A second portfolio of products focuses on mobile productivity applications for handheld devices. Founded in 1994, Paragon Software Group has offices in the USA, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia and China delivering its solutions to consumers, small business and enterprise clients worldwide through a network of Value Added Resellers, distributors and OEMs as well as online through the company website. For more information please visit the company’s mobility division site:

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Katia Shabanova
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