The global app market is showing signs of resilience in the face of economic hardship, according to the latest research from Data.ai. Mobile consumers are projected to spend more in app stores in the first quarter of 2023 than in any other quarter on record — $33.9 billion.
The first quarter of 2023 represents a sort of correction. And it is equally distributed between the two mobile platforms. iOS is up 4% year on year, while Google Play is up 6%, with iOS earning $21.7 billion and Google Play about $12.2 billion.
But in comparison, iOS users continue to spend far more than their Android counterparts. iOS accounts for 65% of total app store spending, and the figure is even higher in non-gaming apps, where iOS accounts for 71%. This sector is undoubtedly fueled by the growing demand for in-app subscriptions and the emergence of popular apps that use them, such as Calm or Hallow for example .
In terms of categories, Games, Entertainment and Social were the largest categories by consumer spending (in Google Play). Video Players & Editors, Home and Health & Fitness posted the strongest QoQ growth of 21%, 21% and 20% respectively.
Regionally, the US, Japan and South Korea made the largest contribution to consumer spending.
The first quarter of 2023 is the second quarter in downloads of all time
The increase in consumer spending in the quarter was accompanied by a moderate increase in downloads. Overall, consumers downloaded 38.2 billion apps, second only to 38.7 billion apps in the third quarter of 2022.
The biggest spike was on iOS, where estimated installs rose 12% year-on-year to around 9.1 billion. Installs on Google Play grew 1% year-on-year to 29.1 billion.
India and Brazil were the top two markets by downloads, while Turkey, Russia, and Iraq saw the biggest growth compared to Q4 2022 on Google Play. While on iOS, China and the US led the way in terms of downloads, while the US, Brazil, and Japan saw the biggest quarterly growth.
The categories Games, Utilities and Photo & Video received the most downloads on iOS. At the same time, Games, Health & Fitness and Travel posted the largest quarterly growth in absolute downloads.
In terms of percentage growth, Health and Fitness, Navigation and Catalogs are in the lead. They grew quarterly by 17%, 15% and 12%, respectively.
On Google Play, Games, Tools, and Entertainment led the way in terms of downloads, while Games, Productivity, and Education saw the largest absolute download growth. Productivity, Books & Reference and Education posted quarterly growth of 12%, 10% and 9% respectively.
ByteDance strengthens its dominance with TikTok and CapCut
The applications that lead the market are the same. The charts are dominated by social, chat and streaming unicorn apps like Facebook, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Netflix, etc.
However, on the chart for the first quarter of 2023, there was a noticeable but small movement. In particular, TikTok has risen to the top spot, replacing Instagram as the most downloaded app in the world. The app also ranks first in the consumer spending table.
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