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Mobile App Usage Statistics & Facts [Businesses & Startups] 2023

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The thriving industry of mobile app is driven by the staggering number of smartphone users worldwide, surpassing 6.3 billion.

This growth shows no signs of reduction as app usage and smartphone adoption continue to increase steadily.

Additionally, the number of tablet users globally has reached an impressive 1.14 billion, reflecting a remarkable growth rate of approximately 36% over the past 6 years.

If you momentarily divert your attention from a phone, you’ll likely observe that nearly everyone around you is engrossed in their mobile devices.

This observation is supported by studies revealing that the average person checks their phone an astounding 262 times per day, equating to once every 5.5 minutes.

What is everybody doing on their phones

The answer is that they spend most of their time browsing through mobile apps, approximately 88%.

Our reliance on smartphones extends to various aspects of our lives.

We employ them at work, home, while walking on the streets, during meals, and even in vehicles. You may be currently reading this text on a mobile device.

How are these app usage statistics useful?

This positive development presents great opportunities for mobile application developers, publishers, and individuals considering app development.

However, achieving success in this competitive industry requires two essential factors:

  • Your app needs to be downloaded by users.
  • Your app needs to be actively used by those who have downloaded it.

These two straightforward actions have motivated us to compile this guide.

While it is evident that app usage is on the rise, our understanding of this usage is only superficial, considering the vast amount of available data.

Relying solely on this limited information is insufficient for developing an app that resonates with users.

To establish your presence and seize a portion of this multi billion dollar industry, it is imperative to understand how individuals download and utilize mobile apps.

This knowledge will empower you to compete effectively and secure your position in the market.

App Usage Statistics for 2023

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General Statistics for Popular Mobile App Industry

Statistics by App Users

The mobile app industry enjoys substantial financial gains from their products, but they are only possible because people actively download and use them. In today’s era, it is challenging to come across someone who does not utilize mobile apps, emphasizing their widespread popularity and ubiquity.

  • An average user engages with 30 apps per month
  • Almost 51% of users check their phones an average of 1-10 times a day
  • Time spent on apps is roughly 85%; which most used apps are Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon

Statistics by Smartphone Users

Smartphones are the foundation on which mobile apps thrive, and similar to the mobile app industry, the usage of smartphones is continuously increasing. The usage of smartphones and mobile apps are interconnected and mutually dependent. Here are the factual details supporting this connection:

  • The number of smartphone users has increased to 6.65 billion (2022-2023)
  • A person roughly spends 5 hours on their phone
  • People spend more time on phones than on desktops (1087% more)

Statistics by Projections

The usage of mobile apps has exhibited a consistent upward trend over the years, and all indications suggest that this growth will persist. Keeping this in mind, here are several facts regarding current trends and future projections in the mobile app industry:

  • The projected mobile app users s expected to reach $201 billion in 2023
  • Mobile app installation has increased to 10% more since 2020-2022
  • TikTok became the most downloaded app in 2022, with over 104 million downloads
  • Yearly global mobile app downloads have increased to 64% since 2016, with an average per year growth of 10.5%
  • Since the Covid-19 pandemic, business app downloads have increased by 102%

Statistics by User Retention

Given the abundance of mobile apps, companies constantly seek ways to enhance user retention. Our research has uncovered valuable insights into user trends, preferences, and their impact on retention. 

Mobile App Usage and Growth Statistics

Here are some key findings:

  • 50% of users uninstall an app if it takes too much time or memory on their phone
  • Users churn after three months at 71%
  • 60% of users uninstall an app due to crashes or errors
  • Users abandon an app completely if it takes too long to download
  • eCommerce and retail apps have the highest retention rate of 39%
  • 54% of marketers use mobile apps to attract their potential customers

Statistics by App Type

The mobile app industry is characterized by diversity, each serving a unique purpose. A wide range of app categories exist from weather apps to cutting-edge games. Here are some factual details about various types of apps:

  • Almost 50% of users use mobile apps for communication purposes
  • Most revenue-generating apps are in the gaming category, reaching about 89%
  • Since 2020, 79% of users have utilized smartphones for shopping and purchases
  • The education sector has over 700,000 apps
  • Gaming is the most popular category in Apple Store, seconded by business
mobile app download statistics

Statistics by Popularity

Despite the vast number of apps available, several popular apps are commonly downloaded by many users. Certain apps enjoy widespread popularity, from eCommerce giants like Amazon to social media platforms like Instagram. Here are some factual insights about these popular mobile apps:

  • Facebook is the most downloaded app, with more than 4 billion downloads
  • TikTok became the most popular app in the USA in 2022, with 99 million downloads
  • Amazon became the most important app for users in the 18-34 years age bracket
mobile application statistics

Downloaded Mobile Apps Global Statistics

Paid vs. Free Downloads

When developing a mobile application, one of the initial considerations is determining the monetization strategy. After all, the primary goal of creating an app is often to generate revenue.

One option that might have come to mind is charging for app downloads. However, the question arises: Will people be willing to download an app if there’s a price attached to it?

To gain insight, let’s examine the ratio of free app downloads versus paid app downloads. The overwhelming majority of worldwide app downloads are of the free variety.

Approximately 98% of revenue comes from free apps globally. Only a small fraction of users are inclined to pay for app downloads.

This does not imply that running a paid app should be completely disregarded. Depending on the nature of your app, both strategies have their own merits.

If you charge for downloads, it’s important to consider that a smaller proportion of mobile users will opt to download the app. This is because most users have grown accustomed to accessing free downloads.

Take a moment to reflect on your mobile device. Do you have any apps for which you paid during installation? If so, you are in the minority.

However, users downloading paid apps are more likely to be highly engaged. They are unlikely to spend money on something they won’t use.

That being said, it is crucial to note that charging for downloads is not the only means to generate revenue from your app.

If you own a business and have developed an app to enhance the user experience, offering free downloads is highly recommended. Users generally expect apps to be free, given that most apps on platforms like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are indeed free of charge.

share of apps ios vs android

The above graph is sourced from Statista’s research conducted as of September 2021.

Even if you launch an app as a brand-new business, there are still opportunities to generate revenue by offering your app for free. Numerous alternative monetization strategies exist, including the option of incorporating in-app purchases.

If your app is intended to facilitate the sale of products or services, it would be beneficial to review the most recent statistics on mobile eCommerce revenue and usage.

  • Google Play vs. Apple Store

The majority of mobile users download apps from two main platforms.

iOS device users obtain their iPhone apps from the Apple App Store, whereas Android users download their apps from the Google Play Store.

Let’s compare these two platforms in terms of global app downloads.

global-downloads

Globally, the number of downloads from the Google Play Store surpasses that of the Apple App Store. However, it is worth noting that both stores experienced an increase in the percentage of downloads from 2019 to 2020.

Specifically, the Google Play Store witnessed a remarkable growth rate of 31%, whereas the Apple App Store’s growth rate was comparatively modest at 2.5%.

In summary, the Google Play Store boasts a higher number of downloads and exhibits a more significant growth rate.

Based on these trends, it is anticipated that they will continue throughout 2023.

Most Popular Mobile App Categories

Apple App Store

To achieve success with your app, it is crucial to comprehend the desires and preferences of consumers. This holds particularly true when developing a new app. While your app may possess revolutionary software or a unique concept, it will face challenges in garnering downloads if there is no market demand for its usage.

First, it is essential to grasp which app categories are experiencing the highest download rates. Here, we present the most popular categories on the Apple App Store based on their share of availability.

RankCategoryDownloadsGrowthRevenueGrowthRPDGrowth
Total100%0.55%100%1.25%
1Games24.40%-4.55%57.30%-5.52%$4.18-0.95%
2Entertainment6.70%0.50%10.30%24.13%$2.8423.48%
3Photos & Videos6.20%-09.26%6.20%6.63%$1.8517.09%
4Social5.30%-4.24%4.50%-8.62%$1.57-4.27%
5Lifestyle5.70%6.35%2.90%16.58%$0.9610.34%
6Music2.20%-0.77%2.90%5.69%$2.416.64%
7Health & Fitness2.80%-5.45%2.80%23.08%$1.8530.28%
8Books1.00%-4.53%2.50%4.32%$4.699.07%
9Education3.90%-5.54%2.30%4.49%$1.0910.10%
10Productivity4.80%8.71%1.90%19.80%$0.7410.45%
11Business3.70%-1.10%1.30%19.15%$0.6520.37%
12Sports1.20%21.93%1.20%23.46%$1.851.65%
13Utilities7.90%10.01%1.10%8.38%$0.25-3.85%
14News0.90%-3.28%0.70%29.43%$1.4633.94%
15Design0.70%45.62%0.40%15.08%$0.96-21.31%
16Navigation1.40%8.47%0.40%26.29%$0.5115.91%
17Finance5.30%0.32%0.30%18.34%$0.1122.22%
18Weather0.30%8.10%0.20%20.70%$1.1811.32%
19Reference0.90%-2.55%0.20%7.42%$0.398.33%
20Medical1.00%-12.63%0.10%20.95%$0.2840%
21Travel3.40%27.40%0.10%39.91%$0.0716.67%
22Food2.70%2.70%0.10%1.35%$0.080.00%
23Shopping6.40%6.28%0.10%9.15%$0.030.00%
24Developer Tools0.10%154.18%0.00%29.46%$0.77-49.34%

The gaming category holds a dominant position in the App Store.

However, unless your plan involves building an app from scratch, it is unlikely that you would develop a game. For instance, if you own an e-commerce store, creating a gaming app for your business wouldn’t make sense solely to place it in a more popular category.

Your app’s category needs to align with its purpose and functionalities. You cannot simply categorize a business or lifestyle app as a game to increase downloads.

Failing to select an appropriate category that reflects your app’s primary purpose violates the App Store review guidelines. Consequently, your app may be removed from the App Store, making it impossible for users to download.

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Therefore, attempting to deceive the system is not advisable. Your app can still achieve success even if it doesn’t fall into a top category. Those popular categories come with increased competition. Depending on your strategy, it might be more beneficial to target a niche category with less saturation and aim to dominate a larger share of a smaller market.

Availability of Apple App Store

The mobile app industry is characterized by intense competition.

Now, let’s explore the sheer volume of apps you will compete against. Consider the vast number of apps available on the Apple App Store.

app store statistics

The count of available apps continues to increase each year.

This upward trend is logical considering the statistics we have examined thus far. The prevalence of mobile devices is higher than ever before, resulting in a surge in app downloads. Consequently, it is natural to witness a rise in the number of apps entering the market.

However, one might ponder whether the increase in app download numbers results from the growing availability of apps or if more apps are becoming available due to the sheer number of new releases.

Google Play Store

The success of an app category can be assessed by examining its penetration rate. According to Statista, the following app categories demonstrate the highest penetration rates among Android users.

S.NoApp TypeDownload Percentage
1Tools99.81%
2Communication99.93%
3Business99.33%
4Video Players & Editors96.63%
5Travel & Local95.70%
6Social95.02%
7Productivity91.67%
8Music & Audio88.38%
9Entertainment83.85%
10News & Magazine81.11%
11Photography75.77%
12Books & Reference70.74%
13Lifestyle65.67%
14Personalization61.62%
15Games (Casual)58.86%
16Games (Puzzle)56.50%
17Games (Arcade)55.08%
18Shopping35.79%
19Games (Action)34.19%
20Weather32.46%

It is important to approach some of these categories with caution. For instance, consider the top categories listed, where certain apps, like communication apps, are typically pre-installed on all Android devices.

However, setting that aside, this list effectively reflects the types of apps Android users have downloaded, including popular ones like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Netflix, TikTok, Spotify, and Tinder. Nevertheless, it is crucial to remember that installing an app on a device does not guarantee its active usage.

Availability of Google Play Store

google play store statistics

The graph representing the category on the Google Play Store exhibits a different trajectory compared to the one for the same category on the Apple App Store. After mid-2017, there was a decline in app availability, although the number of apps has been steadily increasing ever since.

The reason behind this phenomenon is the highly competitive nature of the Google Play Store. Some apps simply couldn’t sustain themselves and eventually faded away.

However, it is unlikely to observe another downward trajectory. Based on the data from the past two years, the trend line is expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future.

In our previous discussion, we noted that Google Play Store downloads continue to rise, despite a temporary decrease in the number of apps available for download during that particular period.

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Now, let’s connect this insight back to our analysis of the Apple App Store. While the app availability numbers on the Apple App Store rise each year, the growth rate in downloads is a lower percentage compared to the Google Play Store. Based on this information, we can reasonably conclude that the number of apps available in each store is not directly linked to the overall increase in app downloads.

Global Revenue for Mobile App Industry

YearTotal App Revenue (USD)iOS App RevenueGoogle Play Store Revenue
2022$129 billion$87 billion$42.3 billion
2021$133 billion$86 billion$47.90 billion
2020$111 billion$73 billion$39 billion
2019$89 billion$59 billion$30 billion
2018$72 billion$47 billion$25 billion
2017$58 billion$39 billion$22 billion
2016$44 billion$29 billion$15 billion

Final Thoughts

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily routines, and the year 2023 is poised to be significant for the mobile app industry.

Despite mobile usage and penetration reaching unprecedented levels, all the analyzed data points towards a continuous upward trend.

This positive trajectory encourages those who own a mobile app or intend to develop one. However, it is crucial to remain updated on the latest research and trends to effectively develop and manage an app.

Therefore, utilize these statistics as a valuable reference to gain insights into the mobile app industry, particularly regarding app downloads and usage patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Downloaded App?

As per the statistics, the most downloaded app globally is WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send text messages, make voice and video calls, and share media files.

How Many People Use Google A Day?

According to EarthWeb, approximately 9 billion people use Google every day in 2023.

How Many Apps Are On The App Store?

There are over 1.76 million apps and 460,000 games available on the App Store.

What Is The Most Popular App?

As of Q1 2023, TikTok is the most popular app, surpassing Instagram in terms of downloads.

How Many Apps Are Created A Day?

As of 2023, approximately 3,739 apps are added to the Google Play Store every day, indicating a continuous increase in the number of apps available.

How Many Apps Does The Average Person Have?

According to various studies and surveys, the average smartphone user tends to have around 60-90 apps installed on their device.

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