The Mobile App Industry Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

November 7, 2017 - 5 minutes read

Many people believe the mobile app industry has already peaked and is on a slow descending trend. But we can always rely on data to tell us the truth, and right now, it’s reflecting the complete opposite — more apps are being downloaded than ever before, and people are spending more time and money in apps than ever before.

Data Doesn’t Lie

Q3 2017 proved to be stellar for apps all around. Both Google Play and the iOS App store broke the records for downloads worldwide and consumer spending. Combined downloads for both mobile app platforms reached approximately 26 billion globally. This equates to over an 8% year-over-year growth, and only accounts for new downloads, not app updates or reinstallations.

If that’s not enough good news for mobile app developers to celebrate, global consumer spending in apps reached $17 billion in Q3. This year-over-year growth rate of 28% is more than three times as much as the download growth rate.

With all of this information in tow, it only makes sense that time spent in apps also experienced a gargantuan increase. Android users spent about 325 billion hours in apps during Q3, which represents a 40% year-over-year growth. Android app developers, whatever you’re doing, it’s working.

Asia is Propelling the Growth

Keeping consistent with previous years, Google Play held a 125% edge over iOS for Q3 2017 downloads. As in previous years, this strong lead can be attributed to new smartphone owners in emerging markets. This trend will probably continue since these markets have yet to even come close to substantial smartphone penetration.

India was Google’s most valuable player for downloads, which were twice as high in this country alone when compared to its stats last year. With double-digit growth rates, Vietnam and Indonesia also played vital roles in bolstering Google’s downloads.

iPhone app developers, don’t fret. In Q3, iOS downloads increased 8% from Q2, largely due to market share growth in China, the United States, and Saudia Arabia.

But What’s Actually Making Money, and Who’s Spending It?

While Google prevailed in download growth, consumers spent nearly twice as much money in iOS apps compared to Android apps in Q3. That’s not to say that Google doesn’t have good reason to celebrate in this category, though — both stores experienced a 25% year-over-year growth in consumer spending.

Similar to downloads, China’s market share increase was the main proponent behind iOS’s impressive consumer spending increase. South Korea followed closely behind China in iOS market share growth and was also largely responsible for the consumer spending increase in Android apps. Canada and Germany followed in second and third place, respectively.

So, this is where the money is primarily being spent, but what is it being spent on? Entertainment, of course! Android consumer spending on entertainment increased by 45% from the previous quarter. Similarly, iOS spending increased by 30% in this category from the previous quarter. Video streaming apps account for the bulk of this increase. With Netflix, HBO Now, STARZ, Tencent Video, and many other streaming services, it’s easy to see why.

We’re Just Getting Started

Optimism for the mobile app industry shouldn’t be relegated to developers in San Francisco, New York City, or other hubs where mobile technology lives and breathes. This data is proof that apps becoming more relevant to modern living, and this is actually translating to tangible rises in revenue.

This momentum for mobile apps shows no signs of slowing down either. App Annie’s forecasts predict that app downloads worldwide will reach 240 billion and consumer spending will hover above $100 billion by 2021. We’re excited to see where mobile apps go from here. We’re even more elated to be a part of this momentum. Even though Q3 2017 has been a great success for the industry, it’s still only up from here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,