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.
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 mobile app revenues in 2018 amounted to more than $365 billion. 
In 2018, mobile apps accounted for almost half of all traffic worldwide. 
There will be 3.3 billion smartphone users around the globe in 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). 
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. 
A couple of other vibrant app marketplaces are the Windows Store (669,000 apps) and Amazon Appstore (600,000 apps). 
95% of Google Play Store apps are free, so are 90% of iOS App Store apps. 
61.2% of the global mobile population accessed the Internet through their mobile phones in 2018. 
For the first time, in 2019, the average US adult will spend more time engaging with their mobile devices (3 hours and 43 mins) than watching TV (3 hours and 35 mins). 
As of 2018, an average individual spends over 7.5 hours each day consuming media (reading, listening, watching, or posting online). 
10 minutes of every hour spent consuming media on TV and the Internet will come from individuals streaming video on mobile. 
Apps account for 80% of users’ mobile time (on smartphones and tablets). 
Based on app content type, digital audio has the biggest share of time spent, followed by social media, and digital video. 
Around 90% of smartphone time is spent on apps. 
It is estimated that 1.28 billion people worldwide use a tablet at least once a month. 
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, 205 billion downloads in 2018, and an estimated 258 billion downloads in 2022. 
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%). 
85% of mobile users prefer and are more comfortable with apps than mobile websites. 
Mobile app users in the US have more than 100 apps installed on their smartphones. 
20% of Millennials open an app at least 50X a day. 
Generation Z smartphone users (ages 16 – 24) spend 20% more time in apps than the rest of the population. 
The global gaming audience is estimated at 2.2 billion. 
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%). 
38.3 billion game downloads were made through Google Play Store and iOS App Store in 2018. 
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. 
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. 
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Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Communication & Social : 97.7
Communication & Social
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Web Browsers: 97.6
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Utilities & Tools: 96.6
Utilities & Tools
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Entertainment: 94.5
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Search & Reference: 93
Search & Reference
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Shopping: 91.6
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 News & Weather: 88.7
News & Weather
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Travel: 85.8
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Finance: 81
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 People, Family & Lifestyle: 80.9
People, Family & Lifestyle
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Productivity: 78.9
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Business: 69.6
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Health & Fitness: 68.4
Health & Fitness
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Games : 67.6
Top App Categories Based on Market Reach among U.S. Online Users, 2019 Technology: 65.4
The global average of daily social media app usage is 2 hours, 16 minutes. 
Social apps are responsible for 50% of app usage time. 
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%). 
Facebook software products lead in the number of installations among non-gaming apps. 
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). 
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. 
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. 
3.1 minutes is the average session duration for banking and FinTech apps. 
In 2018, mobile banking was used by 69.3% of Millennials, 47.9% of Generation X, and 24% of Baby Boomers. 
Apps that send push notifications from the start get 18% higher day-one retention. By day 14, retention can go as high as 62%. 
Consumers ordered food and drinks via apps 130% more often in 2018 than in 2016. 
The top 5 car-sharing apps grew 25% year over year in 2018. 
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. 
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. 
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%). 
In 2017, 46% of Millennials made more than 5 in-app purchases while 70% made more than 1. 
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. 
By 2023, mobile apps are projected to generate over $935 billion in revenue through paid downloads and in-app advertising. 
Mobile ad spending is expected to reach $247.4 billion by 2020. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Sources: Net Solutions, Digi-Capital, Accenture
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 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.
B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."
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