The increase in mobile devices has greatly influenced the mobile apps market. With billions of hi-tech mobile devices in active use, the mobile apps market has seen a surge in growth and revenue. Mobile apps are the major work force of all smart devices (smartphones, Tablets, smartwatches…. ). There is an app for practically anything you want to do with your mobile device. There is a growing need for ever better and efficient apps to make maximum use of our ever powerful smart devices. The mobile apps market is booming and the figures will be hitting the roof right now if there was one. Android and IOS who already control the mobile OS market are again at the top of this one.
Mobile apps cost much less and are easier to build than traditional computer applications. Being far cheaper for consumers, they have a much wider market and user base. This has turned the mobile app business into a trillion dollar economy. It is impossible to know the exact number of mobile apps in circulation out there. The mobile apps market is growing fast and will continue for the foreseeable future.
Worldwide mobile apps usage
Everything is going mobile, from online shopping, music, TV, work, social media, entertainment and more. These days it is essential for every business to have a mobile app so they can keep up with their clients. The best way to do this is by being on their mobile devices. The gaming industry has a strong lead in the mobile apps market with mobile gaming apps generating the highest revenues. In 2016, 149.3 billion mobile apps were downloaded to connected devices. This figure is expected to increase to 197 billion in 2017 and should continue to grow steadily to 352.9 billion by 2021 according to Statista. Mobile apps market is a very diverse one with all kinds of apps popping up every day. The mobile app business has grown in popularity and revenue in the past few years.
The number of mobile apps has exploded over the past few years. As of March 2017, Google Play store is the leading app store with over 2.8 million apps. Though a large number of these apps are free, they still generate a lot of money through different business models. Next is Apple App Store with 2.2 million apps. As of July 2017, 25.08% of all available apps in App Store where gaming apps. This gives an idea of the popularity and importance of mobile game apps in this sector. Business, education, life style and entertainment followed with approximately 9.83%, 8.47%, 8.33%, 6.1% of total apps. Windows Store, Amazon Appstore, and BlackBerry world are far behind these two. Together they count about 1.5 million apps.
Mobile apps market growth
The mobile apps market is booming and is one of the biggest there is in the technology industry right now. According to Statista, the global consumer spending on apps amounted to a whopping USD$1.3 trillion in 2016. This figure is forecast to grow by 385% in the next five years to attain a crazy USD$6.35 trillion in 2021. Thus the global mobile apps market is big enough to accommodate everybody. Still, according to Statista, China has been, is and will be the highest contributor to the mobile apps economy for a long time. This is not surprising given the size of the Chinese market. China alone accounts for 30.2% of all actively used mobile devices worldwide. And local Chinese brands are doing quite well too. China is projected to account for USD$2.6 trillion in the global mobile apps market by 2021.
Just as in the mobile OS market, Google and Apple largely dominate the mobile apps market. This is a direct consequence of the fact that almost all mobile devices run on Android or IOS. According to Statista, the global mobile app revenue amounted to USD$69.7 Billion in 2015 and USD$88.3 billion in 2016. Between 2016 and 2020, this revenue is expected to reach USD$188.9 billion. For now, as of the first quarter of 2017, App Store largely surpassed Google Play in mobile apps revenue. Developing markets had for some time boosted the growth of Google Play Store. But established mobile apps markets like the US, China, and South Korea have picked up to put App Store in the lead. The increasing popularity and market penetration of smartphones have also contributed a lot to the growth of the mobile apps market.
Mobile apps revenue generation
There are three main ways through which apps generate revenue. First, there is the free apps model in which the app itself is free but there are in-app purchases. This is most common with game apps. Usually, the app itself is free but users have to make in-game purchase of items, upgrades, points and more. These purchases are usually essential to fully exploit the app. Second is the paid, no in-app purchase model (Subscription model). Here you pay a fixed amount per month or per year to access all the features of the app. Lastly, there are in-app advertisements which are very popular and attractive. This particular model is fast growing and expected to generate USB$53.4 billion yearly by 2020.
The app business is a hot one as there are an uncountable number of developers and apps out there. Given their relatively cheap creation cost, mobile apps are the perfect starting point for most software entrepreneurs. There is a growing need for mobile apps in practically all levels of the economy.