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Number of Apps in Apple App Store in 2022/2023: Demographics, Statistics, and Predictions

Number of Available Apps in the Apple App Store
As of July 2020, the number of available apps in the Apple App Store is currently at 3,420,161. This number is higher than the reported 3,062,241 available apps in July 2019.

Source: PocketGamer.biz

While it is true that Apple—well-known manufacturer of computers and one of the pioneers in the smartphone industry—didn’t invent the first-ever smartphone, the company definitely popularized smartphones for public use. Sensing the impending demand for “smart” mobile usage, Apple introduced their very iPhone to the world in 2007. Since then, it is an annual tradition for Apple to release a new flagship model for its line. Aside from laptops and mobile phones, Apple also manufactures tablets and other smart devices.

Due to this, Apple Inc. remains one of the most valuable brands in 2021. According to a report by BrandZ, Apple Inc. is the second most valuable brand worldwide with an estimated value of more than $352,206 billion in 2020, an increase of 14% from 2019. Aside from the number of available apps in the Apple App Store, this article will explore the main categories below:

Number of iOS Users Worldwide

Apple only allows iOS users to download and access apps via the Apple App Store.

There are many reasons why. First, the programming language used to code the apps for the two major operating systems (iOS and Android) are different—iOS apps run on Objective-C or Swift, while Android apps run on Java. Second, the graphic interface between the two systems is different. Apple prioritizes a crisper and user-friendly UI. On the other hand, Android prefers to put their devices’ hardware first. Third—and this is perhaps most obvious difference to users—is the absence of the ‘back’ button in iOS devices. The list of differences between the two most popular operating systems goes on; but the bottom-line: iOS devices can only access apps through the App Store.

Source: StatCounter

As of January 2021, the number of iOS users worldwide accounted for 27.47% of all users of mobile devices (StatCounter, 2021). Apple’s worldwide market share among smartphone users increased from 24.76% reported in January the previous year. However, Apple came second to Android as the most used operating system worldwide. Android remains the most popular with a reported 71.93% market share as of January 2021.

Market Share of iOS by Device

Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, stated in his recent report that Apple has about 1.5 billion active devices worldwide (Apple Insider, 2020). From smartphones to laptops, Apple has reached nearly every country around the globe.

Source: IDC

According to IDC, Apple took up 13.5% of the global smartphone shipments worldwide in the second quarter of 2020. This number is slightly higher from the same quarter in 2019 (10.1%) but significantly lower than 2019’s peak of 20% in its last quarter (IDC, 2020). The most observable trend is that smartphone shipments increase every last quarter. The fourth quarter is also where Apple also releases its new flagship models for global consumption.

Source: Strategy Analytics

Another popular product of Apple is the iPad. In the last quarter of 2020, the market share of Apple iOS from the entire tablet OS worldwide was 29.7%. This number is 1.9% higher than the same period last year (Strategy Analytics, 2020).

Source: Strategy Analytics

Wearables such as smartwatches have become a buzzword in recent years. Apple holds the largest share among smartwatch vendors since it started manufacturing its Apple Watch in April 2015. In the second quarter of that year, the recorded share of Apple Watch was at an astonishing 75.5% — 68% higher compared to all their competitors’ share combined. However, according to the latest data gathered by Strategy Analytics, competitors are slowly catching up to Apple. Still, Apple is the leading smartwatch vendor. They reportedly occupied 47.9% of the entire smartwatch market share in the third quarter of 2019, and 55.5% in the first quarter of 2020 (Strategy Analytics, 2020).

Growth of Apple App Store Apps

Apple, as we know it, has a closed system. Normally, you can’t get apps that aren’t available in the App Store unless you jailbreak your phone. For app developers, on the other hand, iOS is easier to have your apps on—especially paid ones. But how many apps are released in the App Store?

Source: 42matters

42matters conducted a study to find out the average monthly app releases in the App Store. In 2020, April had the highest app releases (42,300). This is still a significant decrease from September 2019’s number (99,000), the year’s highest. Furthermore, 2020 ended with 41,700 apps released in December (42matters, 2021).

Source: Appfigures

In a study conducted by Appfigures, the second quarter of 2016 saw the biggest surge of apps in the App Store within a four-year period with a recorded 10.79% growth. However, the growth rate in the succeeding quarters saw a decline. It was only until the second quarter of 2019 that the company saw quite a significant positive growth rate of 2.71%, but it dipped again to -4.48% the following quarter before showing a slightly positive growth of 2.2% in Q4 2019. In all, in 2017 and 2020, only five quarters saw positive growth. These quarters are Q4 of 2017 with a minuscule 0.15%, Q2 (2.71%) and Q4 (2.2%) of 2019, and Q1 (0.49%) and Q3 (7.53%) of 2020 (Appfigures, 2020).

Most Popular Categories in the Apple App Store

Apps can be divided into a myriad of categories in the App Store. Looking for a way to pass the time? There are apps under Gaming and Entertainment for that. How about finding “the one?” Dating apps are the key. You’re a budding photographer and photo editor? Apps under the Photo & Video category can help you hone your craft. There are categories for almost anything in the Apple App Store. But which of them dominate the marketplace?

Source: PocketGamer.biz

One of the three most obvious indicators that categories reign in the App Store is what kinds of apps have the most numbers. In August 2020, PocketGamer.biz identified which categories have the most share of available apps in the App Store. According to their data, Games lead the pack with 21.86%.  Business apps comprise 10.11% of the total number of apps placing second. Education follows with 8.68%. The fourth-most popular apps based on the share of available apps are Lifestyle with 8.62%. Utilities placed fifth with 6.12% (PocketGamer.biz, 2020).

Source: SensorTower

Another way to grasp which are the most popular categories is by download volume. According to the data gathered by Sensor Tower, Apple users are a bunch of gamers. In 2019 alone, Apps categorized under Games have been downloaded almost 10 billion times—the most among other categories. The second-most downloaded app category is Photo & Video. Apps under this category have been downloaded almost 2.4 billion times in the same year. Third place belongs to Entertainment with almost 2 billion downloads in 2019. Games still dominate the ranking as of Q1 2020, with 2.97 billion app downloads.

Source: Shared2you

The market reach of the most popular categories in the App Store is yet another indicator. Based on the install rates among Apple devices, Shared2you listed the categories with the highest market reach. Apps categorized under Social Networking took the top spot with 90.15% market reach. The second spot was clinched by Photo & Video apps with 89.75%. The Games category followed with 83.13%. The fourth-most popular app category by market reach belonged to Entertainment with 77.92%. Finally, Apps under the Utilities category landed in fifth place with 58% market reach (Shared2you, 2019).

Apple App Store User Engagement

Like many other companies, Apple also holds press conferences at the end of each fiscal year, where reports containing various figures and accomplishments are laid out and announced. A segment of their report is dedicated to the performance of their digital distribution services such as the Apple App Store.

Since the inception of the Apple App Store back in July 2008, Apple keeps track of how many times apps have been downloaded in the digital platform. That same month, apps in the Apple App Store have been downloaded 10 million times across various devices. And in just a year, app downloads saw an impressive 14900% increase—climbing up to 1.5 billion cumulative downloads. Cumulative app downloads hit 180 billion in 2017 (Apple, 2017).

Meanwhile, every quarter, billions of apps are also downloaded. In the second quarter of 2020 alone, 9.1 billion applications were downloaded from the App Store (Business of Apps, 2020).

With thousands of apps uploaded to the App Store daily, competition is cutthroat for app developers. To stand out, they need to come up with apps that are sure to capture the attention of mobile users. Not only that, but they also need to figure out how to increase the longevity of their apps inside the phones of these users. Adjust, a mobile measurement and fraud prevention consultancy, identified the lifecycle of apps in iOS devices between the last app session and app uninstall.

According to the study, free apps under Publications have the longest time between the last app session and app uninstall. On average, it takes 15 days before a user uninstalls a Publications app. On the other hand, paid Health apps last the longest life among other paid apps, taking a user 13 days before uninstalling the app. However, this doesn’t mean that users use the app. This study only recorded the time between the last in-app session and the app uninstall.

The fastest uninstall rate for both paid and free apps belongs to the category Social. It takes not less than a day for a user to uninstall a Social app.

Apple App Store Revenue

Apple announced back in January 2019 that it has paid developers a total of $155 billion since 2008 (CNBC, 2019). Meanwhile, a more recent report from Apple stated that as of January 2021, the cumulative Apple App Store earnings of mobile app developers is $200 billion (Apple, 2021). According to the CNBC analysis, it can be estimated that, in 2019 alone, Apple generated a $15 billion income from the reported $50 billion revenue of the Apple App Storeassuming that 70% of the generated income goes straight to developers. But how do apps generate revenue?

There are many ways for an app to generate income. One of which is having the users pay to gain access to your app. These models are most commonly seen in apps available for download in the App Store. Notably, “freemium” models and free apps are prominent in Android app stores. This phenomenon can be related to the annual income of both iOS and Android users. According to a survey conducted by Slickdeals, iPhone users have an average annual salary of $53,251 while Android users only have an income averaging to $37,040. This gives iPhone users more wiggle room to spend more on other things such as apps (Slickdeals).

Source: Sensor Tower

A study by Sensor Tower and 9 to 5 Mac further supports this notion. In 2018, average consumer spending in the Apple App Store was $47 billion. Meanwhile, average consumer spending in Google Play only amounted to $25 billion. This 2021, it is predicted for consumer spending in the Apple App Store to go as high as $80 billion and $40.4 billion for Google Play (Sensor Tower, 2020).

Source: 42matters

Apple App Store is a more lucrative place to have your developed paid apps uploaded. However, this doesn’t mean that free apps are on the tail end in the App Store. In fact, as of January 2021, 92.7% of all the apps in the App Store are free. Only 7.3% are paid apps. This number is still relatively higher compared to its Android counterpart (42matters, 2021).

Source: PocketGamer.biz

These paid apps aren’t even that pricey. The average app price for an app in the Apple App Store is $0.94.  Apps categorized under Games, which comprise the most number of apps, are priced at an average of $0.5 (PocketGamer.biz, 2020).

Trends to Watch Out for in the Apple App Store

Like shiny new toys, apps are discarded once they’re lackluster. There are also the effects of the ever-changing technological landscape that continuously affect how developers make their apps. App developers need to keep a sharp eye if they want to capitalize on these trends. FinancesOnline.com, with the help of some industry experts, compiled current mobile app trends and those that are most likely to have a big impact on the mobile app industry.

One of the current trends affecting how apps are developed right now is wearables. Devices such as smartwatches are becoming more widespread around the world that app developers can no longer ignore this untapped market. Apps are programmed to adapt to the small screens of these devices without sacrificing interactivity.

5G is becoming a buzzword among giant companies and developers alike. The demand for faster mobile connectivity has put giant corporations on a race to become the largest 5G provider in every country in the world. The potential for app developers to maximize this technology is huge. The latency of 5G is less than one millisecond – making app development for the Internet of Things (IoT), AR and VR, and more possible.

Another interesting trend to watch out for is cross-platform app development. As we’ve mentioned before, there are a variety of reasons why app development for iOS and Android are different. With cross-platform development, a developer does not have to write multiple codes for various platforms. This trend can save time, effort, and money.

The list goes on for these future trends. And there are many more that are likely to make an appearance as we go onto the decade and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

References:

  1. StatCounter. (2021, February). Mobile operating system market share worldwide. StatCounter.
  2. Neely, A. (2020, January 28). Apple has more than 1.5B active devices in the wild, up 100M in last year. AppleInsider.
  3. IDC. (2020, January 30). Apple takes top spot in Q4 2019 worldwide smartphone market while Huawei rises to number 2 globally for 2019, according to IDC. IDC.
  4. Strategy Analytics. (2020, October 3). Strategy Analytics: Tablet market growth hits seven year high at 33% but how long can this last? Strategy Analytics.
  5. Strategy Analytics. (2020, November 6). Press releases. Strategy Analytics.
  6. 42matters. (2021, March 26). Google Play vs the iOS app store. 42matters.
  7. Appfigures. (2021, January 1). Apple app store: Growth of available apps 2020. Statista.
  8. PocketGamer.biz. (2020). App store metrics. PocketGamer.biz.
  9. Shared2you. (2019, October 21). Leading iOS app categories worldwide 2019. Statista.
  10. Apple Newsroom. (2017, June 5). Apple unveils all-new app store. Apple.
  11. Business of Apps. (2021, February 25). Sensor Tower. Business of Apps.
  12. Leswing, K. (2020, January 8). Apple’s app store had gross sales around $50 billion last year, but growth is slowing. CNBC.
  13. Apple Newsroom. (2021, January 6). Apple services entertain, inform, and connect the world in unprecedented year. Apple.
  14. Slickdeals. (2018, October 30). IPhone users spend $101 every month on tech purchases, nearly double of Android users, according to a survey conducted by Slickdeals. PR Newswire.
  15. Nelson, R. (2020, April 1). 5-Year market forecast: App spending will double to $171 billion by 2024 despite COVID-19. Sensor Tower.
  16. PocketGamer.biz. (2020). App store metrics. PocketGamer.biz.
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

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