• iPhone 7 Launch in China

iPhone 7 Launch in China (Photo : Getty )

China's App Store has broken quarterly records for iOS revenue and become the world's biggest market for revenue on Apple's iPhones and iPads. The Asian country's App Store earned $1.7 billion during Q3 2016 in terms of App Store revenue for iOS devices. That figure is 15 percent higher than the United States, which has topped the rankings for over half a decade.

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App Annie tracked the figures. The research firm reported that the US' revenue of about $1.5 billion was the first time since 2010 Apple's home country was not ranked number one in iOS revenue.

This report from the Silicon Valley company also points out that Chinese iOS users spent five times more money in mobile apps for iPhone and iPad than two years ago. A largish amount of Chinese growth was due to video game apps.

China also topped the US in the Games category in Q2 2016, according to Mac Rumors. The most popular mobile games were "multiplayer collaborative games" that allow Apple fans to play with or against other people.

This new report  from the app analytics company did not list the China market's most popular mobile games but  mentioned "Pokémon Go." Niantic's augmented reality (AR) game has earned record-breaking global revenue.

China's other very popular categories in the iOS App Store include Entertainment, Photo and Video, Social Networking, and Books apps. Video-streaming apps like Youku and Tencent Video were also top-sellers.

All of those categories had big growth in year-over-year revenue. For example, revenue for Entertainment apps rose 3.5 times from Q3 2015 to one year later.

App Annie believes China's iOS revenue will keep growing. It also thinks that by 2020 the country will drive the world's biggest total revenue growth.      

Apple has also announced it plans to construct a new research and development center in Shenzhen a little north of Hong Kong. The goal of the building will be to improve relationships with local partners and China's universities.

In related news, demand for Apple's new iPhone 7 in China is weak based on a report from financial services company UBS, according to CNBC. Sales of the newest Apple smartphone is lower than for the iPhone 6s after launch.

The tech giant is losing market share to local handset makers partly because the App Store is sometimes slow and hard to access.

Here are some top iPhone 7 apps/games: