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. is one of the most valuable brands in 2020. According to the report by Brand Finance, Apple Inc. ranks third most valuable brand worldwide with an estimated worth of $140,524 billion in 2020. Aside from the number of available apps in the Apple App Store, this article will explore the main categories below:
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 Andoird) 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.
As of December 2019, the number of iOS users worldwide were at 24.79%. Apple’s worldwide market share among smartphone users increased from 21.98% reported in December the previous year. However, Apple came second to Android as the most used operating system worldwide. Android remains the most popular with a reported 74.13% market share as of December 2019.
Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, stated in his recent report that Apple has about 1.4 billion active users worldwide. From smartphones to laptops, Apple has reached nearly every country around the globe.
According to IDC, Apple took up 20% of the global smartphone shipments worldwide in the last quarter of 2019. This number is the highest since the reported 23% from the same quarter in 2011. 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 2019, the market share of Apple iOS from the entire tablet OS worldwide was 27.8%. This number is 2.8% lower from their highest recorded tablet OS share in the second quarter at 28.6%.
Source: Strategy Analytics
Wearables such as smartwatches are also becoming 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.
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?
42matters conducted a study to find out the average daily app releases in the App Store. The fourth quarter of 2016 saw the highest app releases with 4,032 apps uploaded in the App Store daily. Since then, daily app releases per quarter have continued to decline. Their latest data in the first quarter of 2018 showed a 64% negative growth from 2016’s fourth quarter with an average of 1434 daily app releases.
In a study conducted by Appfigures, the second quarter of 2015 saw the biggest surge of apps in the App Store with a recorded 21.41% growth. However, the growth rate in the succeeding quarters saw a decline. It was only until the second quarter of 2016 that the company saw a positive growth rate of 10.79%. The following years weren’t good either. Between 2016 and 2019, only three quarters saw positive growth. These quarters are Q4 of 2017 with a minuscule 0.15%, Q2 and Q4 of 2019 with 2.71% and 2.2%, respectively.
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?
One of the three most obvious indicators which categories reign in the App Store is what kinds of apps have the most numbers. In November 2019, 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 22.37%. Business apps comprise 10.12% of the total number of apps placing second. Education follows with 8.68%. Fourth-most popular apps based on the share of available apps are Lifestyle with 8.62%. Utilities placed fifth with 5.9%.
Source: Sensor Tower
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 10,000 times—the most among other categories. The second-most downloaded app category is Photo & Video. Apps under this category have been downloaded almost 2400 times in the same year. Third place belongs to Entertainment with almost 2000 downloads in 2019.
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.
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. Their recent data showed that the cumulative app downloads are already at 180 billion in 2017.
With thousands of apps uploaded in 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 announced back in January that it has paid developers a total of $155 billion since 2008. According to the analysis of CNBC, it can be estimated that, in 2019 alone, Apple generated a $15 billion income from the reported $50 billion revenue of the Apple App Store—assuming 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.
Source: Sensor Tower; 9 to 5 Mac
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 2020, it is predicted for consumer spending in the Apple App Store to go as high as $67 billion and $37 billion for Google Play.
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, 90.8% of all the apps in the App Store are free. Only 9.2% are paid apps. This number is still relatively higher compared to its Android counterpart.
These paid apps aren’t even that pricey. The average app price for an app in the Apple App Store is $0.96. Apps categorized under Games, which comprise the most number of apps, are priced at an average of $0.51.
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.
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