37 Mind-Boggling Mobile App Download Statistics for 2020

“People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.” – Bill Gates, 1999.

It took less than ten years for Bill’s prediction to come to life. Ironically, it was at the hands of his greatest rival.

There certainly were smartphones and even apps before the IPhone. However, none combined a touchscreen phone with a computer capable of installing and running custom-made apps. When Steve Jobs launched the device on January 9, 2007, it changed how we use our phones. App download statistics were not on anyone’s mind yet, but apps started to come to the forefront. Fast forward 12 years and they are the primary reason we use our phones today.

Let’s take a look at some app stats, shall we?

Top App Download Statistics For 2020

  • 194 billion mobile apps were downloaded by consumers in 2018.
  • Google Play Store (used by 64.52% of smartphone owners) and the Apple App Store (62.90%) are the most-used mobile app stores on the market.
  • Global mobile app revenues in 2018 amounted to $365.2 billion.
  • Google Play Store is the largest mobile app market in the world with 2.47 million apps as of Q3 2019.
  • 96.1% of apps on Google Play and 90.4% of apps on the App Store are free.

The first section of this article will present some general mobile app download statistics and predictions. Then we’ll go over a few stats relating to app demographics and app usage statistics. Finally, we’ll take an in-depth look at the statistics of the two most popular app markets: Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store.

Global app download statistics

1. 194 billion mobile apps were downloaded by consumers in 2018.

(Statista) (Sensor Tower)

The number of app downloads has increased significantly since 2016, when there were 143.7 billion app downloads, and 2017, in which 178.1 billion app downloads took place. According to SensorTower, around 105 billion of those were made on the largest platforms: Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Since Google’s store is not available in China, the majority of the downloads there were made on the TenCent MyApp store.


2. Global mobile app revenues in 2018 amounted to $365.2 billion.

(Statista)

One of the most eye-opening mobile mobile app statistics we can show you is the amount of money that’s being generated through apps these days. When talking about global app revenues, we are referring to the total numbers, which include advertising income. Mobile app industry statistics show a rapid growth in revenue generation.

In 2013, the number was around $97.7 billion, while the estimates for 2023 go as high as $935.2 billion. This year, Statista predicts the number will grow to $461.7 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of over 25%.


3. Consumer spending on apps reached $101 billion in 2018.

(App Annie)

When talking about consumer spending, we only refer to the money spent directly within the app (paid downloads, in-app purchases, and in-app subscriptions). Anything purchased outside of the app stores and any ad revenue counts towards global app revenues, but those figures are not relevant to this statistic. Mobile game revenue contributed to 74% of the consumer spend, with other apps accounting for just 26%. China accounted for nearly 40% of global consumer spending


4. Consumer spending on Google Play Store and the Apple App Store is projected to reach $156 billion by 2023.

(Sensor Tower)

This number has already increased from $72 billion in 2018 to an estimated $85 billion by the end of 2019. App revenue from consumer spending alone (not counting advertising and purchases outside the app stores) across both marketplaces combined will have a growth rate of 16.8% CAGR over the next four years, according to Sensor Tower. This figure includes $96 billion in 2023 from Google Play Store alone, which is more than the combined yearly revenue Google and Apple have earned any one year thus far, including projections for 2019.


5. Google Play Store (used by 64.52% of smartphone owners) and Apple App Store (62.90%) are the most-used mobile app stores on the market.

(GoodFirms)

Mobile app statistics in 2019 show that the two most popular app stores in the world account for the vast majority of the apps we download and use. Google and Apple came up more than 60% of the time in GoodFirms’ survey. This is well ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Store (24.19%) and Amazon’s App Store (14.11%). F-Droid was mentioned 12.90% of the time. Finally, Windows Store was mentioned by just 2.82% of mobile users, showing clearly just how far behind the Windows Phone platform is these days. Microsoft itself has said that as of December 10th, 2019, it will stop delivering security updates to its phones. As such, the company has encouraged its users to switch to Android and IOS devices.


6. By 2023 there will be 161 billion yearly downloads between the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

(Sensor Tower)

Smartphone app download statistics on the two leading mobile marketplaces are

projected to grow substantially over the next four years. The combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be 8.6%, with Google Play Store (10%) outpacing the Apple App Store (4.5%). For reference, Sensor Tower reported between 105 and 106 billion downloads across both stores in 2018 – a figure that will be surpassed by Google Play Store alone by 2021.


7. 96.1% of apps on Google Play and 90.4% of apps on the App Store are free.

(42matters)

Free apps and games dominate the major app markets. They represent an ideal monetization platform, as proven by the success of games such as Fortnite and apps like Tinder. Popular free App Store apps include a lot of Google’s apps, like Gmail and YouTube. Other popular iOS apps and games that are free include Fortnite Mobile, PokemonGo, Snapchat, and ITunes. Social apps like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and battle royale games such as Fortnite and PUBG Mobile are majorly popular free software on both platforms.

When it comes to free Google Play apps, we have mostly the same selection of games, Google products, and popular social networking apps. Notably, WhatsApp and Messenger are much more popular on Google Play Store, while YouTube and Instagram are favored by App Store users.


8. 3.4 billion finance app downloads were made during 2018.

(App Annie)

While finance apps aren’t as popular as productivity apps or games, recent app download stats indicate they have been gaining ground over the past few years. This trend is especially visible in emerging markets such as Indonesia, which saw a whopping 400% increase. India increased by around 225% and Brazil has grown more than 100% from the figures recorded in 2016. When it comes to the United States, the growth during that two-year period was around 50%. Globally, finance app download statistics on Android and iOS platforms have shown an improvement of around 75% since 2016.

Mobile app usage and demographics

9. The average smartphone user in the US has over 100 apps installed on their device.

(App Annie)

This includes everything from popular mobile gaming apps to productivity and entertainment apps. According to App Annie’s mobile app usage statistics in 2018, around 35 of those apps are used by the respondents. The others are likely there because they were pre-installed on their devices. However, there are also lots of apps that are installed and tried once, never to be used again.

South Korea leads the world in both the number of installed and used apps, with an average of around 105 installed and 40 used apps. Meanwhile, the low numbers of installed apps in China (just over 50) are probably reflective of the limited number of mobile devices with high storage capacities.


10. 25% of apps in 2019 have only been used once since installation.

(Statista)

The app abandonment rate is one of the more consistent statistics on our list, hovering between 20% and 25% for the majority of the past nine years. In 2019, there was a reverse of 2018’s drop to 21%, with the abandonment rate reaching its highest point since 2015. Consider that a quarter of all apps globally are installed, tried once, then left to linger on the smartphone without being deleted. It’s no wonder we have such a large discrepancy between mobile download statistics and those relating to their actual usage.


11. 97% of users use their app store of choice because it is the default option for downloading apps on their device.

(GoodFirms)

Whether we’re talking about apps on Android or apps on iOS, most people’s primary reason for using a mobile marketplace is the fact that it came pre-installed on their mobile device. All Android phones come with Google Play Store by default (including Samsung, which also has its own store). Apple products, including smartphones, come with Apple’s App Store, and don’t officially support any other popular app stores anyway.

Other important reasons people cite for using their app store of choice include security (which comes up 85% of the time), being used to a specific set of products (64.11%), convenience (50%), and the sheer number of available apps (35.8%).


12. Word of mouth is the way 68.95% of people find out about new apps.

(GoodFirms)

In order to contribute to app download statistics, you first need to find out about an app

and decide whether you’re interested in it. According to GoodFirms’ research, nearly 70% of people are informed about new apps by friends of family members, while around 60% find new apps themselves by browsing the app stores.

The most successful ads are those conducted over social media, with 41.53% of respondents saying they find out about new apps through social network advertising. On the other hand, new App Store and Google Play app downloads are sometimes sparked by in-app advertising for about 22% of people. Ads on websites and TV are the least-common method cited for finding new apps. This likely has to do with the fact that mobile apps are not as commonly advertised offline. Additionally, it seems people pay much more attention to social networks and apps that they use on a regular basis.


13. The average smartphone user in the US spends nearly three hours each day using apps on their device.

(App Annie)

If we consider that the average person sleeps between seven and eight hours and works for another eight, three hours spent on the phone each day seem like an awful lot. The majority of that time is spent on social networks or playing mobile games. If download and usage patterns maintain their current course, mobile app usage statistics in 2019 will be even more worrying.

The situation is most severe in Indonesia, where people spend over four hours or 17% of their day staring at their mobile devices. In comparison, people in France spend “only” two hours hunched over their phones per day.


14. Productivity (96.77%) and social media apps (94.35%) are the most commonly present apps on smartphones today.

(GoodFirms)

When it comes to mobile apps download statistics are often not accurate indicators of what apps actually get used the most by people. The reason for this is that many commonly used apps – such as YouTube, iTunes, and Gmail – come pre-installed on many Android and iOS devices. According to GoodFirms’ survey, productivity tools such as Evernote and popular social media apps like Facebook and Instagram dominate consumers’ usage patterns. Around 75% of respondents use communication apps, 60.89% use business and finance apps, and 43.15% use entertainment apps like Netflix.

Despite the impressive game app download statistics we see from Google and Apple’s stores, only 46.37% of people say they use games on their phones. Educational apps are another popular app category according to downloads, but were mentioned by only 30.65% of respondents in this survey.


15. Most apps on the Google Play Store are rated by users (68%), while most on the Apple App Store are not (80%).

(42matters)

There are 2,125,197 rated and 993,514 unrated games on the Google Play Store. Apps tend to be rated well by the community, with 598,211 apps getting the highest rating (5/5) and another 512,315 rated between 4 and 4.5. Most popular apps and games are rated very highly.

People tend to be less eager when it comes to rating apps on Apple’s mobile marketplace. As of writing this article, there are only 352,547 rated apps on the store, compared to 1,450,905 unrated ones. The most common rating bracket is 4,5-5.0, with 98,889 apps.

Astute readers might notice that other sources report much smaller numbers for the total number of apps on Google Play Store. The reason for this is that Google periodically deletes inactive and suspicious apps based on app usage data, but the company is not always that astute. 42matters considers all apps that currently exist on the store, whether active or inactive.


16. There were more than 487,000 apps on the Amazon App Store as of Q3 2019.

(Statista)

Despite being deeply in the shadow of the two largest app stores on the market, Amazon’s store has been growing at a slow and steady rate since Q1 2018. The number has grown by around 35,000 apps year-on-year, and by nearly 190,000 since Q1 2015.

This store also has the top apps for Android and the most popular games, such as Minecraft. However, its selection of apps and average app download statistics pale in comparison to the big app stores. For context, remember that the largely defunct Windows App Store had 669,000 apps back in 2015, and Apple’s App Store has nearly two million apps now. Amazon’s store primarily targets owners of its Kindle tablet.

App Store download statistics

17. The Apple App Store is the second-largest mobile app market in the world with 1.8 million apps as of Q3 2019.

(Statista)

While still trailing behind industry leader Google Play Store in terms of general app statistics such as the total number of apps and app downloads, Apple is a long way ahead of other mobile app stores. It has also come a long way since its launch 11 years ago, when the service debuted with just 500 apps available. The iPad was launched in 2010 with around 3,000 apps, and has since contributed between 5 and 20% to global iOS app download statistics, depending on the app in question.


18. The App Store made $47 billion in 2018 and is expected to earn $56 billion in revenue by the end of 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

While Google is undoubtedly leading the market in terms of available apps and app downloads, Apple is king when it comes to actually monetizing the market. According to Sensor Tower’s predictions, the company’s app revenue statistics will keep getting better and will grow to annual earnings of $96 billion by 2023. The growth rate is projected to be a healthy 15.6% CAGR, although Google is expected to beat that with a massive 19% growth rate over the same period.


19. The App Store had 29.6 billion downloads in 2018.

(Sensor Tower) (Sensor Tower)

This is up by 6.6% compared to 2017, when that number was 27.8 billion, which was up by the same percentage over 2016’s 26 billion. The number of App Store downloads is projected to surpass 30 billion by the end of 2019 and reach around 37 billion by 2023. The growth rate will slow down to 4.5% CAGR, which is much slower than Google Play Store’s projected growth of 10% CAGR.


20. The App Store recorded eight billion downloads in Q3 2019.

(Sensor Tower) (Sensor Tower)

According to Sensor Tower’s research, iPhone app download statistics have increased 5.3% compared to the third quarter of 2018, during which 7.6 billion downloads were recorded. Q3 itself was a 3.1% improvement over the 7.3 billion downloads during Q3 2017. Sensor Tower’s download statistics for the App Store show 29.6 billion app downloads in 2018, 27.8 billion in 2017, and 26 billion in 2016.


21. Games generated 71% of revenue across all app categories on the Apple App Store in 2018.

(Sensor Tower)

Sensor Tower looks at app revenue generated by people directly spending money on the app store, whether through buying apps and games or making in-app purchases. You may think that with the wealth of free apps and games on both Google and Apple’s marketplace, there wouldn’t be much room for earning non-advertising revenue. Enter in-app purchases, the key revenue generator for app stores worldwide. Free App Store apps often offer various account upgrades and games offer in-game currency or cosmetic options for real money. However, Apple tends to have more paid apps and games than Google, and hence the revenue split is a little different.

Other than popular App Store games, the other significant revenue generators in 2018 were entertainment apps (7%), social networking apps (5%), music and photo/video apps (3% each) and lifestyle apps accounting for 2% of the total revenue earned. Sensor Tower’s predictions show that games are earning a lesser percentage of revenue each year, from 78% in 2017 to an estimated 60% by 2023. Entertainment apps, on the other hand, will account for 12% of overall revenues by the same year.


22. There are on average around 1,500 new apps on the App Store every day.

(42matters)

App statistics can vary a lot, so take this info with a grain of salt. As of writing this article, the average number of new apps weekly is between 10-11,000. September has been the most productive month of 2019 with 93,000 new apps, while August has had the fewest new apps (24,400). Google Play Store averages around twice the number of new apps on a daily basis.


23. The biggest iOS market in Q3 2019 was China with 2.20 billion downloads on the App Store.

(Sensor Tower)

If we look at mobile app download statistics by country, China has a significant lead over the United States, which took second place with 1.87 billion downloads during the same period. China also improved by 9% over Q2, but overall it’s 6% down compared to Q3 2018. Meanwhile, the US has improved by almost 16%, showing a healthy growth trend. Japan was third in App Store downloads during Q3 2019 with 423 million, followed by Great Britain (302 million) and Russia (262 million). All countries except for China saw a growth trend compared to the same period last year.


24. According to Statista, games account for nearly a quarter of all apps on the Apple App Store.

(Statista)

Unlike Google Play Store, where they are separated by genre, games have only one uniform category on Apple’s app marketplace. For this reason, the games category takes up 24.63% of all apps available on the store. Other popular App Store download categories include business apps (9.76% of all apps on the store), educational apps (8.52%), lifestyle apps (8.33%), and entertainment apps such as Netflix (5.99%). Social networking apps account for only around 2% of the apps on the store. Nevertheless, they tend to be some of the most popular mobile apps when it comes to downloads and mobile app usage statistics in 2019.


25. Mario Kart was the most-downloaded App Store game in Q3 2019 with 34 million downloads.

(Sensor Tower)

Even more impressively, the number was reached within just six days of the game’s launch. Within that launch week, the game blew past other popular App Store games on the US store as well, with nearly nine million downloads in the United States alone. Other top games on the App Store were FunRace3D, with around 26 million downloads, Aquapark.io (25 million), and Jelly Shift with nearly 20 million downloads during Q3 2019. A similar distribution can be found on the US, with the only major difference being that Jelly Shift took second place behind Mario Kart.


26. TikTok was the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store in Q3 2019 with almost 37 million downloads.

(Sensor Tower)

According to SensorTower’s app download data, YouTube was dethroned in Q2 2019 after leading the pack for over a year. In Q3 it had nearly 35 million downloads, ahead of Instagram with around 33 million. The fourth and fifth most downloaded apps during this period were WhatsApp and Google Maps, with around 27 million downloads each. Netflix grew significantly during the quarter, enabling it to re-enter the top 10 club, ahead of Gmail.


27. With around 220 million downloads, Google was the top mobile app publisher on the App Store in Q3 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

It came out ahead of Tencent and Facebook, which had around 165 million and just under

125 million downloads respectively. Other notable publishers among mobile app download stats are Voodoo, SayGames, and the Alibaba Group.

Google won another decisive victory in this category thanks to having three of the 10 top apps for iOS: YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail. However, while Google is consistently the top mobile app publisher on the App Store, it loses out to Facebook on its own platform, as we’ll see when we take a look at Google Play app download statistics.


28. Fortnite was the top-earning App Store mobile game in the US in October 2019 with nearly $2.17 million in daily revenues.

(Statista)

When it comes to mobile game revenue, Fortnite now reigns supreme over the previous long term title-holder Candy Crush. The long-awaited app version of the popular battle royale game launched on October 1st and had racked up 2,168,504 unique downloads by the end of the month. Candy Crush managed 1,675,978 downloads during October, while ROBLOX was third with 1,285,308 downloads. Homescapes, Toon Blast, and PokemonGO were also there, as was another popular battle royale: PUBG. The five most popular game apps on Apple’s store grossed more than $6.5 million daily during October, showing that mobile gaming has become a majorly profitable industry.

Google Play download statistics

29. Google Play Store is the largest mobile app market in the world with 2.47 million active apps as of Q3 2019.

(Statista)

Sensor Tower reports this number to be much larger (around 3.1 million), but it pays to remember that figure counts all apps present in the store, including inactive ones. Google isn’t always diligent with deleting old and inactive apps, which leads to some discrepancy between the numbers reported by various sources. Either way, Google Play Store is the largest app store around, ahead of the Apple App Store, which has around 1.8 million apps.


30. Google Play Store made $25 billion in 2018 and is expected to earn $29 billion in revenue by the end of 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

When it comes to popular app stores, Google dominates most statistics, such as the number of apps available and apps downloaded. However, when it comes to app revenue stats, it lags quite a way behind its greatest competitor – Apple – by quite some margin. The upside is that Google has a higher projected growth rate leading up to 2023, with a CAGR of as much as 19% over Apple’s 15.6% during the same projection period. By 2023, the store is expected to be earning around $60 billion a year, which is more than twice the revenue it generates now.


31. Google Play Store had 75.7 billion downloads in 2018.

(SensorTower) (SensorTower)

When it comes to app download data, Google is the undisputed king of all app stores on the market. The projected growth rate is slowing down, though. It was 15.9% between 2016 and 2017 (57.8 billion compared to 67 billion), 13% between 2017 and 2018 (67 billion vs. 75.7 billion), and is expected to reach around 10% over the period from now until 2023. Still, these projected statistics have the number of Google Play app downloads nearly doubling that 2018 figure by the time 2023 comes around. According to Sensor Tower, Google’s app marketplace will account for 124 billion downloads in 2023, which is more than the combined totals of Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in 2018.


32. There were 21.6 billion downloads on the Google Play Store in Q3 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

This represents a growth of 11.4% over Q3 2018’s 19.4 billion. If we combine the app download stats on Google Play with those from Apple’s App Store, a total of 29.6 billion downloads were made across the two largest app marketplaces in Q3 of 2019. Global app download statistics for the Android platform do not come only from the Play Store, though. It’s important to note that the Google’s store is not available in China. This takes a huge number of potential downloads away from the company; China is by far the largest Apple App Store market in the world. This gives a chance to other stores such as MyApp to make good profits on one of the world’s largest app markets.


33. Games generated 87% of revenue across all app categories on the Google Play Store in 2018.

(Sensor Tower)

When it comes to consumer spending, free to play games and freemium apps are the big earners for companies. Just because a game is “free” does not mean that the majority of its revenue comes from advertising. Instead, “premium” options, skins, and additional features all add costs that regular app users are more than happy to pay.

Sensor Tower looks at pure consumer spending statistics, without ad or third-party app revenue, so it’s little wonder that games dominate the revenues, as they tend to have the most monetizing options on the market. Social apps account for roughly 2% of the consumer spending revenue, while other categories such as lifestyle, entertainment, and sports make only around 1%. The top games on Google Play will keep earning big figures in the future, with the category in total projected to account for 86% of revenue in 2023.


33. On average, around 3,000 new apps get added to Google Play Store every day.

(42matters)

The numbers are constantly changing, but these app statistics represent a three-month daily average, so it gives a pretty good indication about the ongoing trends. When it comes to new apps each week, the number ranges between 17,700 and 22,200. Unlike Apple’s store, September was the least productive month with only 77,000 new apps, while August broke the record for the quarter with 103,000 new apps.


34. With nearly 160 million downloads, WhatsApp was the most popular app on Google Play in Q3 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

The absolute leader in app download statistics on Google’s app store has been leading this category for several years now. Facebook Messenger takes second place on the list of popular Android apps, with around 145 million downloads during the same period. In relative terms, TikTok is less popular on Google’s platform than on Apple’s, but still manages to hold the third place with 140 million downloads. Facebook is fourth with around 125 million, rounding out the list of apps that were downloaded over 120 million times in Q3 2019.


35. With over 500 million combined downloads, Facebook was the top mobile app publisher on Google Play in Q3 2019.

(Sensor Tower)

While Google might be the dominant publisher on the Apple App Store, its own store is absolutely dominated by apps owned by Facebook. Looking at WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook app download statistics, we can see that the company has four apps in the top seven when it comes to downloads worldwide. This includes having two chart-topping apps (WhatsApp and Messenger) and three apps in the top four for Q3 2019.

Considering the current industry trends, we can expect Facebook’s domination to continue in 2020 as well. According to Sensor Tower’s mobile app download stats, the only non-Facebook-owned social media apps on the top-10 list are TikTok and Snapchat.


36. With 14.15% of all apps available, games are the largest category of mobile apps on Google Play Store.

(Statista)

Unlike Apple’s store, Google Play has download categories for every game genre individually: action, adventure, sports, role-playing, and so on. Despite this, we can extrapolate the number of downloads by looking at games across all the separate subgenres on the store. According to Statista, the result is that just under 15% of all apps on the store are mobile games. The split is not as dramatic as on Apple’s store (which has nearly a quarter of all the apps available within the games category), but shows that games are still the most sought-out app on mobile devices.

Other popular app categories include education, with a share of 9%, followed by business, lifestyle, and entertainment categories.


37. Fun Race 3D was the most-downloaded Google Play Store game in Q3 2019, with nearly 100 million downloads.

(Sensor Tower)

The biggest game on Play Store was also the second-most downloaded game on the Apple App Store, making it the most popular title for mobile devices overall, with over 120 million unique downloads. Free to play games, battle royale, and hyper casual genres are dominating the market at the moment. PUBG came in second with around 80 million downloads, while Garena Free Fire was third with just over 60 million. Other top games on Google Play were AquaPark.io, with just under 60 million downloads, and Mario Kart Tour with just over 50 million.

FAQ:

  • How many apps do people actually use?

According to app usage statistics, people in the US use about 35 of the 100 or so apps they have installed. The number varies around the world, but is mostly between 30 and 40 apps used on a fairly regular basis.

  • How do free apps make money?

Mostly through in-app purchases and advertising. eLearning apps for example sell various packages that give you that extra info you need. Most free to play games have various monetization methods, such as character and weapon skins, in-game currencies, and a range of other “premium” features. Productivity apps tend to have so-called freemium or trial versions with limited features, while premium features are hidden behind a paywall. Alternatively, they can earn money off in-app advertising, which often motivates people to buy the app/game in order to get rid of advertisements.

  • What are the five most used apps in the world?

According to various download and usage statistics, apps owned by Facebook dominate the market. These include WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Other popular apps are TikTok, YouTube, Gmail, and Netflix.

  • What is the most popular app in the world in 2019?

According to Sensor Tower, WhatsApp was the most downloaded app in both 2018 and so far in 2019. During that period, it has had over 180 million downloads across the two largest mobile marketplaces: Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

  • How do I find app statistics?

If you’re looking for statistics on your particular app, you can find some in the download section of your app store of choice. For general app download statistics or stats about app usage and demographics, check out this article or one of the other pieces on KommandoTech!

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