Mobile app sales boom to $15 billion in the first quarter: Here's what you need to know.
It’s a good time to be a mobile app developer, at least according to the latest sales figures from the App Annie mobile analytics firm. Its newest report on global app downloads and consumer spending found that app downloads from the iOS App Store and Google Play grew 15% in the first quarter of 2017, to almost 25 billion worldwide. The report notes: “This is an incredible feat since this number only reflects new downloads and is not inclusive of re-installs or cumulative downloads from past quarters.”
Possibly even more impressive is how much consumer spending for apps grew in the same period: a 45% leap in the first quarter, to more than $15 billion worldwide in both stores. More impressive still is that the number doesn’t include many sources of revenue for app developers, such as in-app spending and m-commerce.
Who Is the Download and Revenue Leader in Mobile Apps?
Google Play has long outpaced the iOS App Store when it comes to the total number of downloads, and in the just-passed quarter, it widened its lead. Downloads from Google Play grew 20% compared to a year previous, while downloads in the iOS App Store grew 5%. Even before then, Google Play led the iOS App Store in downloads.
Most of Google Play’s growth in the quarter was fueled by downloads in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. Because of that, the future looks good for Google Play. App Annie notes, “Smartphone penetration in India is below 30%, which paints a rosy picture of long-term growth. As more consumers adopt smartphones, we expect India to continue to contribute significant download growth in the quarters to come.”
Of course, downloads are one thing, and revenue another thing entirely, and here the iOS App Store remains on top. Revenue from the iOS App Store grew 45% in the quarter compared to a year ago, while revenue in Google Play grew 40%. Given that revenue in the iOS App Store already was greater than in Google Play, the iOS App Store widened its lead.
The big growth in downloads and revenue is great news for app developers, and bodes well for the future. The report notes: “The app economy is nowhere near peaking. Apps are an integral part of consumers’ lives across the world. Businesses need to adapt to this mobile-first world or be left behind in this booming economy.”
The big question for mobile app developers, is whether to develop for only one platform, and if so which one, or to develop for both. With Alpha Anywhere, they don’t have to make the choice though. Alpha Anywhere lets developers write an app once, and then deploy it easily to multiple platform.
Read the full App Annie Report.