The app ecosystem did very, very well during the global pandemic. While many businesses struggled, the app industry experienced a massive boom in sales, as people were stuck home with, in many cases, a lot more time on their hands.
It seems the 2020 rise in sales isn’t slowing down, either. According to a new App Annie, consumer spending on apps achieved a new record high in the first quarter of 2021. Across both iOS and Android, customers spent $32 billion on apps in the quarter. That’s a 40 percent increase from the same period last year — and the biggest quarter on record.
Customer spending on iOS almost doubled that of Android, despite the fact that there are more Android handsets than iOS ones. iOS customers spent $21 billion in the App Store, compared to $11 billion on Google Play.
Gaming drove the majority of this spending, accounting for $13 billion of the overall $21 billion spent on iOS. The Photo & Video and Entertainment categories were also big on iOS. So too was the Health and Fitness app category, whose downloads grow by an impressive 25%. While that’s below the overall 40% growth, it’s still an impressive leap.
TikTok was the top download in terms of numbers, although it was beaten by YouTube for revenue. Nonetheless, TikTok’s dominance continues a winning streak started in 2020. Last year, the video-sharing app was the most-downloaded app almost every month of the year. Other popular apps included Facebook, Instagram, messaging app Telegram, WhatsApp, and — unsurprisingly — Zoom. Tinder, Tencent Video, and Disney+ all did very well in terms of spending as well.
Now that the world is starting to get back on its feet with the rollout of vaccinations in many places, it will be interesting to see whether the App Store golden age continues apace.
Are you a developer? How have you found the last year in terms of sales or downloads? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.