Can you imagine your device, whether desktop or mobile, without apps? Apps make your personal and business life more manageable and productive. 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 those software solutions including SaaS small business tools. But for this article, we will focus on mobile apps. Nowadays, “app” has widely come to mean software applications downloaded and installed/pre-installed on smartphones and tablets or those intended for use on mobile devices.
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 heavy 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. (Statista)
- In 2018, mobile apps accounted for almost half of all traffic worldwide. (Techjury)
- There will be 3.3 billion smartphone users around the globe in 2019. (Statista)
- 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). (Business of 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. (Business of Apps)
- A couple of other vibrant app marketplaces are the Windows Store (669K apps) and Amazon Appstore (600K apps). (Applift)
- 95% of Google Play Store apps are free, so are 90% of iOS App Store apps. (Business of Apps)
- 61.2% of the global mobile population accessed the Internet through their mobile phones in 2018. (Statista)
- For the first time, in 2019 the average U.S. adult will spend more time engaging with their mobile devices (3 hours & 43 mins) than watching TV (3 hours & 35 mins). (eMarketer)
- As of 2018, an average individual spends 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 smartphone and tablet). (Smart Insights)
- Based on app content type, digital audio has the biggest share of time spent, followed by social media, and digital video. (eMarketer)
- Around 90% of smartphone time is spent on apps. (eMarketer)
- It is estimated that 1.28 billion people worldwide used a tablet at least once a month. (Statista)
Statistics on App Download & Usage
In this section, the app download statistics show huge numbers – in the hundred billion. 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. (Statista)
- As of March 2019, the most popular mobile app categories in the U.S. are communication & social (97.7%), web browsers (97.6%), and utilities & tools (96.6%). (Statista)
- 85% of mobile users prefer and are more comfortable with apps than mobile websites. (BiznessApps)
- Mobile app users in the U.S. have more than 100 apps installed on their smartphones. (App Annie)
- 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)
- The global gaming audience is estimated at 2.2 billion. (Business of Apps)
- 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%). (Statista)
- 38.3 billion game downloads were made through Google Play Store and iOS App Store in 2018. (Business of Apps)
- 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)
- 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. (Statista)
People, Family & Lifestyle%
Source: Statista Designed by
- The global average of daily social media app usage is 2 hours 16 minutes. (Business of Apps)
- Social apps are responsible for 50% of app usage time. (Business of Apps)
- 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/gaming apps (10%) while at 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). (CEOWorld)
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 device. 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 percent increase in two years. (App Annie)
- 3.1 minutes is the average session duration for banking and FinTech apps. (Leanplum)
- In 2018, mobile banking was used by 69.3% of Millennials, 47.9% of Generation X, and 24% of Baby Boomers. (Statista)
- Apps that send push notifications from the start get 18% higher day-one retention. By day 14, retention can go as high as 62%. (Leanplum)
- 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 U.S., mobile shopping grew by 70% in the past 2 years. Moreover, it took 4.6 to 5 minutes 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. (Statista)
- 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)
App Projections & Direction
Where are mobile apps headed? We take a look at snapshots of its 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)
- By 2023, mobile apps are projected to generate over $935 billion in revenue through paid downloads and in-app advertising. (Statista)
- Mobile ad spending is expected to reach $247.4 billion by 2020. (Statista)
- 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. (Statista)
- The AI industry will grow to $40 billion by 2020 and much of machine learning and artificial intelligence tech will be in mobile devices. (Net Solutions/IDC)
- The AR and 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. (Statista)
Sources: Net Solutions, Digi-Capital, Accenture Designed by
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 using 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 website responsive 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 for existing customers. Remember, almost half of the Millennials make 5 in-app purchases. You lose sales opportunities such as these if your business doesn’t have an app of its own.