Apple’s registered slogan “There’s an app for that,” still holds true some 10 years after its inception. While there seems to be an app available for just about every function in life, mobile phone owners worldwide don’t seem to be paralyzed by choice, as app store downloads have grown 45% globally between 2016 and 2019, per a report [download page] from App Annie.
This growth, which does not include re-installs or app updates, was fed in the most part by emerging markets. Among the top 5 countries by app store downloads was India, which saw 190% growth in the three-year period. Indonesia and Brazil have also displayed strong growth, as app store (iOS, Google Play and third-party Android in China) downloads grew by 70% and 40%, respectively. On the other hand, app store downloads in the US climbed by only 5% from 2016-2019.
Worldwide, app store consumer spend more than doubled (+110%) from 2016-2019. Among the 5 largest countries by app store consumer spend, the US saw gross app store spending growth of 105%, second only to China’s 190% jump.
While previous research found that app marketers are not putting much emphasis on retaining users after their initial download, one group that appears to be using apps regularly is Gen Z. Per App Annie, Gen Z mobile phone owners engage with the top 25 non-gaming apps an average of 150 times per month, spending an average of 3.8 hours per app per month on these top apps.
Which apps had the fastest growth in the past year? Here’s a list of the Top 5 apps with the fastest growth in the US last year across a variety of categories highlighted by App Annie. (Unless noted, these are ranked by year-over-year growth in iOS and Google Play downloads.)
Top 5 “Breakout” Game — Downloads
- Mario Kart Tour
- Colour Bump 3D
- Call of Duty: Mobile
- Run Race 3D
Top 5 “Breakout” Finance Apps — Downloads
- Cash App
- Chime – Mobile Banking
Top 5 “Breakout” Retail Apps (Android Only) — Total Sessions
- Walmart Grocery
Top 5 “Breakout” Video Streaming Apps (Android Only) — Time Spent
- Amazon Prime Video
Top 5 “Breakout” Social Apps — Downloads
- YOLO: Q&A
- Life360 Family Locator
- Profoundly: Anonymous Chats
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Data is based on combined downloads and spend for iOS, Google Play and Third-Party Android in China. Spend is gross – inclusive of any percentage taken by the app stores.