The mobile app market posted another strong quarter in Q3 2023, suggesting that the app economy is stabilizing after an unprecedented decline in 2022. Consumer spend saw positive year-over-year growth for the fourth consecutive quarter and has reached $33 billion each quarter so far in 2023.
How Strong is the Mobile Market in 2023? See What the Latest Results from Q3 Tell Us
The mobile market appears to be back on track after a slow 2022. In fact, annual consumer spend reached $100 billion faster than ever in 2023 across iOS and Google Play. Global consumer spend across iOS and Google Play totaled $33.6 billion in Q3 2023, an increase of 3.7% year-over-year and approximately matching the totals from the first two quarters in 2023. This marks the first time that consumer spending has reached the $100 billion milestone in the third quarter of the year – it took until October to reach $100 billion in 2021 and 2022 and December in 2020 (the first year global consumer spend reached $100 billion).
Both Apple’s App Store and Google Play saw positive year-over-year growth in Q3 2023, though Google Play contributed the majority. iOS consumer spend climbed 1% YoY, while Google Play grew 9.7%. However, iOS continued to generate most of the consumer spend at $21.2 billion compared to Google Play grossing $12.4 billion in Q3 2023.
Most of the growth in Q3 2023 came from apps outside of gaming, where consumer spend climbed 10.6% year-over-year on iOS and 20% on Google Play. Mobile game consumer spend saw more modest growth at 5% on Google Play, and mobile game spend actually fell 5.6% on iOS. This continues the trend towards mobile spending in apps outside of games fueled by in-app subscriptions.
Looking at markets that have seen the most growth over the past year, the United States led the way, gaining more than $600 million in consumer spend in Q3 2023 compared to a year prior. Nearly a third of all consumer spend in the third quarter was in the US. South Korea and the United Kingdom also saw strong YoY growth at $477 million and $224 million, respectively.
Apps Downloads Plateau at 38.4 Billion in Q3 2023
Global app downloads have been remarkably stable over the past year, surpassing 38 billion for the fifth consecutive quarter. Consumers downloaded 38.4 billion apps in Q3 2023 — a slight decline year-over-year. Overall in the first three quarters of 2023, downloads reached 115.2 billion, up 1.9% YoY.
Google Play’s 28.9 billion downloads in Q3 2023 was more than three times as many app downloads as iOS with 9.5 billion. However, growth was faster on iOS at 9.2% YoY compared to a 3.7% decline on Google Play.
The loss of momentum on Google Play was primarily driven by a 13% drop in India – downloads in the rest of the world climbed 1.5% YoY on Google Play.
The fastest growing markets in Q3 2023 compared to a year prior were China, the US, and Bangladesh. Positive growth has returned in China in recent quarters with downloads approaching the levels seen before the pandemic. It gained 173 million additional downloads on iOS alone in Q3 2023 compared to Q3 2022. The US had 126 million more downloads over this same period, while Bangladesh downloads grew by nearly 86 million YoY.
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