The app economy is far from slowing down with the iOS App Store and Google Play Store reaching record levels for global downloads and in-app spending, according to a new report from App Annie.
The latest forecast pins iOS and Google Play downloads at 26 billion. That’s an increase of 8% the year over.
Global consumer spending on both app stores was three times the growth rate of downloads, reaching $17 billion at a growth of 28% compared to the year before.
Meanwhile, app usage continues to increase with total time spent in apps globally jumping 40% among Android users to 325 billion hours during the third quarter of 2017.
Google Play continues to dominate app downloads compared to iOS with the gap now at 125% compared to 115% in Q3 2016. Google’s 10% increase the year over was largely driven by emerging markets and App Annie expects this trend to continue as these markets are becoming more and more saturated with smartphones.
India was the single largest contributor to Google Play downloads whilst Vietnam and Indonesia also spurred download growth.
On the iOS front, global downloads jumped 8% between Q2 and Q3 2017 with China leading the charge. The US and Saudi Arabia rank second and third for iOS growth.
Meanwhile, worldwide consumer spending on smartphones doubled on iOS compared to Android. Although both stores noted impressive growth of over 25% for 2017, iOS retains a significant lead.
The report notes that despite download growth being driven by smartphones, the increases demonstrate a much healthier overall consumer spending habit that is not just restricted to new smartphone owners.
China leads when it comes to consumer spend with the market seeing the highest year-on-year growth for absolute spend and market share. Meanwhile, South Korea scored the second highest growth for the quarter, now ranking fourth globally.
However, mature markets are still generating considerable figures when it comes to spend.
In particular, entertainment app categories stood out this quarter on both app stores, reaching a 30% growth on iOS and 45% on the Google Play Store. The boost is largely driven by video streaming apps.
Matt Miller, Industry Analyst at App Annie writes:
“Between the continuing influx of new smartphone users in emerging markets to the increasing spend of more seasoned app users, mobile apps are still just scratching the surface of their overall potential. In fact, we forecast that worldwide downloads will reach nearly 240 billion and consumer spend will exceed $100 billion in 2021 on iOS and Google Play combined.”