Can you imagine your device, whether desktop or mobile, without apps? Apps make your personal and business life more manageable and productive. To know just how much they impact our lives, take a look at the app statistics below. We’ll go over app market size, app usage statistics, and other facts and figures about the technology that permeates our lives through the devices we use.
The term “app” generally applies to any software program that runs on computing devices. It can be cloud-hosted or web-based applications that are accessed through a connected device. They likewise encompass all software solutions, including SaaS small business tools. But in this article, we will focus on mobile apps. These days, “app” has widely come to mean software applications that are downloaded and installed/pre-installed on smartphones and tablets.
App Industry Statistics
Our app market share statistics show a robust industry propelled by the increasing number of smartphone and tablet users worldwide. Also, faster Internet speeds in many countries contribute to massive app engagement. We’ll get an overview of app revenue statistics and app media consumption as it relates to mobile.
- Global consumer spending in mobile apps reached a record $111 billion in 2020, up 30% from 2019. This included spending on subscriptions, in-app purchases, and premium apps across Google Play and Apple’s App Store. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
- Global consumer spending on App Store in 2020: $72.3 billion, up 30.3% from $55.5 billion in 2019. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
- Global consumer spending on Google Play in 2020: $38.6 billion, up 30% from $29.7 in 2019. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
- Apple’s App Store generated 87.3% more in consumer spending than Google Play, which is a historical trend. Both platforms performed at about the same YoY growth. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
- Global mobile app revenues in 2018 amounted to more than $365 billion. This is expected to increase more than twice the amount in 2023 to $935.2 billion. (iResearch, 2019)
- The two major app stores with the most number of apps available as of May 2019 are Google Play Store (3.3 million Android apps) and Apple’s App Store (2.2 million iOS apps). Those numbers have increased in 2020. (Business of Apps, 2021)
- Google Play has the most apps in its library, with 2.87 million selections. Apple App Store follows behind with 1.96 million apps. (Appfigures, 2020)
- But the 2 stores aren’t the only ones offering Android and iOS apps. In fact, there are more than 300 alternative app stores worldwide. (Business of Apps, 2021)
- A couple of other vibrant app marketplaces are the Windows Store (669,000 apps) and Amazon Appstore (600,000 apps). (Applift)
- 95% of Google Play Store apps are free, so are 90% of iOS App Store apps. (Business of Apps, 2021)
- In 2019, the leading mobile app publisher in the US based on reach was Alphabet, Inc., Google’s mother company. It had a net reach of 98.8%. (Verto Analytics, 2019)
- There were 385,551 available gaming apps on Google Play in October 2020. (Appfigures)
- By 2024, consumer app spending is forecast to hit $115.4 billion in the App Store and $55.5 billion in Google Play. (Sensor Tower, 2020)
- As of Q3 2020, the average consumer spend on mobile apps per smartphone was $4.64. (DataReportal, 2020)
- Of the 20 categories included in a study of popular apps, the news is the least popular with only 1.83% of total downloads. (PocketGamer.biz, 2021)
- Coin Master is the leading mobile gaming app in the Google Play Store with revenue of $113.89 million. Moon Active, its publisher, also leads the way among mobile gaming app makers. (Airnow, 2020)
- Tencent My App is the Android app store with the highest market share in China (26.46%) (AppInChina, 2020).
- There are around 3.67 million smartphone apps in China app stores. (CNNIC, 2020)
- By 2023, China is expected to be the leading region with the highest number of mobile app downloads (147.2 billion). (iResearch, 2019)
- The global user retention rate is 32%. (Localytics, 2019)
- 61.2% of the global mobile population accessed the Internet through their mobile phones in 2018. (eMarketer)
- For the first time, in 2019, the average US adult spent more time engaging with their mobile devices (3 hours and 43 mins) than watching TV (3 hours and 35 mins). (eMarketer, 2019)
- As of 2018, the average individual spent over 7.5 hours each day consuming media (reading, listening, watching, or posting online). (Vox)
- 10 minutes of every hour spent consuming media on TV and the Internet will come from individuals streaming video on mobile. (App Annie)
- Apps account for 80% of users’ mobile time (on smartphones and tablets). (Smart Insights, 2020)
- Based on app content type, digital audio has the biggest share of time spent, followed by social media, and digital video. (eMarketer, 2019)
- Around 90% of smartphone time is spent on apps. (eMarketer, 2019)
- It is estimated that 1.28 billion people worldwide use a tablet at least once a month. (Statista, 2021)
Statistics on App Download & Usage
In this section, the app download statistics show huge numbers – in hundreds of billions. As the global number of mobile users continues to grow, so too will be the projected number of downloads.
- There were 178 billion app downloads in 2017 and 205 billion downloads in 2018. The figures for app downloads increase consistently annually. (Statista, 2021)
- In 2020, there were over 218 billion app downloads. (TechCrunch, 2021)
- It is predicted that mobile app downloads will surpass 285 billion by 2022. (TechCrunch, 2021)
- As of March 2019, the most popular mobile app categories in the US are communication and social (97.7%), web browsers (97.6%), and utilities and tools (96.6%). (Verto Analytics, 2019)
- Games remain the most popular type of apps downloaded in the Apple App Store. As of August 2020, it makes up 21.86% of downloads. Business apps follow with a 10.11% share. (PocketGamer.biz, 2020)
- 85% of mobile users prefer and are more comfortable with apps than mobile websites. (Bizness Apps)
- Mobile app users in the US have more than 100 apps installed on their smartphones. (App Annie, 2019)
- 20% of Millennials open an app at least 50X a day. (The Manifest)
- Generation Z smartphone users (ages 16 – 24) spend 20% more time in apps than the rest of the population. (App Annie, 2019)
- The average downloads of grocery delivery apps surged in the US because of the Covid-19 outbreak. On March 15, Instacart, Walmart Grocery, and Shipt surged 218%, 160%, and 124%, respectively.
- The global gaming audience is estimated at 2.2 billion. (Business of Apps, 2020)
- The most popular app categories worldwide in both Google Play and the App Store (by share of active apps) are games (24.63%), business (9.76%), and education (8.52%). (PocketGamer.biz, 2021)
- 38.3 billion game downloads were made through Google Play Store and iOS App Store in 2018. (Business of Apps, 2020)
- The game Fortnite Battle Royale was among the most successful mobile apps in 2018. It was released in March and earned for its developers over $15 million in less than a month, even though it was available only on iOS at that time. (Lvivity, 2019)
- While games are the most commonly created apps, only 65% of smartphones have at least one game app. In contrast, more than 90% of smartphones have a web browser, communication/social app, utilities/tools, entertainment, search/reference, and shopping apps. (Verto Analytics)
- While the game category is typically dominated by males, the opposite is true for one of the biggest games on mobile: Candy Crush Saga. It is dominated by females, who make up an estimated 64% of the gaming population of the app. (App Ape, 2019)
- Among Us is the leading mobile gaming app on Google Play Store, with 43.53 million downloads as of September 2020. (Airnow, 2020)
Source: PocketGamer.biz, 2020
- The global average of daily social media app usage is 2 hours, 16 minutes. (Business of Apps, 2020)
- Social apps are responsible for 50% of app usage time. (Business of Apps, 2020)
- Social media apps are the most frequently used type of app, according to 39% of smartphone owners. Tied at second are gaming apps (10%) and communication apps (10%), while a third are retail apps (7%). (The Manifest)
- Facebook software products lead in the number of installations among non-gaming apps. (Lvivity)
- The most used social networking sites and apps in the world as of 2019 are Facebook (2.27 billion), YouTube (1.9 B), WhatsApp (1.5 B), Facebook Messenger (1.3 B), and WeChat (1.08 B).
- Instant messaging apps are the most popular apps in China, with over 890 million users. (CNNIC, 2020)
Top Application Development Software
- BitBucket is a web-based hosting solution that lets you work on your Git projects with your colleagues. Apart from that, it is scalable and has numerous integrations.
- Docker is an open-source container platform that revolutionizes code development with its unique techniques. With this, you can run apps at scale.
- Salesforce Platform enables users to develop and deploy applications. This software has guides and lets you store reusable building blocks.
- Heroku lets you work with any language and provides flexibility and reliability. Plus, using it makes application development a lot faster, leveraging the solution’s add-ons, buttons, and build packs.
- Xamarin provides cross-platform development tools that accelerate the building and deployment processes. Further, it has top-notch APIs that allow you to provide the best user experience.
Business & Marketing App Statistics
Businesses are shifting to a mobile-centric approach to engage mobile-savvy consumers. Having an app for your business ensures that you reach a large audience that is connected with their mobile devices. Here’s how apps are used in business.
- The use of mobile apps by companies saw a staggering increase of 98% in 2018. (Salesforce)
- Banking and FinTech app downloads reached an all-time high in 2018. Some 3.4 billion downloads were recorded in this app category or a 75% increase in two years. (App Annie)
- 3.1 minutes is the average session duration for banking and FinTech apps. (Salesforce)
- In 2018, mobile banking was used by 69.3% of Millennials, 47.9% of Generation X, and 24% of Baby Boomers. (eMarketer)
- Apps that send push notifications from the start get 18% higher day-one retention. By day 14, retention can go as high as 62%. (Salesforce)
- Consumers ordered food and drinks via apps 130% more often in 2018 than in 2016. (App Annie)
- The top 5 car-sharing apps grew 25% year over year in 2018. (App Annie)
- In the US, mobile shopping grew by 70% in the past 2 years. Moreover, it took 4.6 to 5 minutes of average session duration for shopping and retail apps. (App Annie)
- After shopping online (using a web browser or mobile app), a smartphone user opens a shopping app (23.3%) or a communication/social app (18.9%). This indicates that a consumer will continue shopping or tell friends about the purchase. (Verto Analytics)
- The top 3 “most essential” apps for millennials are those used for shopping, email, and social. These are Amazon (35%), Gmail (30%), and Facebook (29%). (Business Insider)
- In 2017, 46% of Millennials made more than 5 in-app purchases while 70% made more than 1. (Comscore)
- Business apps experienced phenomenal growth in 2020. On March 15, 2020, global downloads of business apps increased by 90%. (App Annie, 2020)
- In India, mobile apps for business have increased downloads and usage. 76% of respondents said they downloaded Splashtop Personal – Remote Desktop for work. Tap Scanner had a share of 77% while Zoom Video was downloaded and used by 80% of respondents. (medianews4u.com, 2020)
App Projections & Direction
Where are mobile apps headed? We take a look at snapshots of their projected growth and other app development statistics.
- Advertising views by users will become the main monetization strategy for over 60% of all mobile apps in 2019. (App Annie, 2019)
- By 2023, mobile apps are projected to generate over $935 billion in revenue through paid downloads and in-app advertising. (iResearch, 2019)
- Mobile ad spending is expected to reach $247.4 billion by 2020. (eMarketer)
- App developers will be building more apps for wearable devices – smartwatches, fitness bands, movement trackers, etc. From 453 million wearable devices shipped in 2017, that number will increase to 929 million by 2021. (Cisco, 2019)
- The artificial intelligence (AI) industry will grow to $40 billion by 2020, and much of machine learning and AI tech will be in mobile devices. (Net Solutions, 2020)
- The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market will expand by leaps and bounds from $16.8 billion in 2019 to $160 billion in 2023. The technology is a hit with social media platforms introducing AR filters in their apps. Likewise, game developers are releasing game apps specifically for AR/VR devices.
Should You Have an App for Your Business?
As a B2B or B2C company, you may already be using mobile sales software apps for your business. Your marketing team may likely be utilizing some of the leading mobile marketing apps with automation to optimize efficiencies and streamline campaigns. But should your business have its own custom app? Yes, it should. As you’ve learned through this article, customers engage more with mobile apps than with mobile websites. Of course, you should still maintain a responsive website that is suited to all types of devices.
The point is that you can’t advance your business today without a mobile-focused approach to your customers. Just going through our app statistics, the saying, “It’s an app world. The web just lives in it,” rings true. You have to put in place mechanisms, even a mobile CRM strategy, to compete. Having your own business app will put you a step closer to your prospects and within easy reach of existing customers. Remember, almost half of the millennials make 5 in-app purchases. You could lose sales opportunities such as this if your business doesn’t have an app of its own. Building one does not have to be arduous, as these best application development software have the right tools that make creation and deployment easy tasks.
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