Free and paid app distribution for Android and iOS 2023
Mobile apps and consumer spendingMobile apps have become integral to our daily routine, offering convenience and entertainment. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the total value of the global consumer spending on mobile apps was almost 70 billion U.S. dollars, highlighting the significant role that mobile apps play in the digital economy. As of the third quarter of 2022, consumers spent an average of 4.86 U.S. dollars on mobile apps per smartphone, which underlines the high demand for these digital solutions.
App stores commission rates under scrutinyAs of July 2022, the standard commission rates on revenues generated from apps hosted on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store were set at 30 percent. However, between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, both Apple and Google were forced to address the criticism of their app store policies. In 2020, the European Union drafted the Digital Market Act, with the purpose of ensuring a healthy degree of competition in the tech environment. In December 2022, Apple was reported to start planning to allow sideloading and the presence of alternative app stores on its devices. In August 2021, the United States Senate presented the Open Apps Market Act to reduce tech giants‘ control over the digital app market. As regulations are expected to promote competition in the tech and mobile environment, in March 2023, Microsoft was reported to preparing to launch a new mobile gaming store, which will compete with the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
In 2026, mobile app spending is forecasted to reach 161 billion U.S. dollars and 72 billion U.S. dollars on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, respectively. While both Google and Apple started applying some changes in their app store policies in 2021, like lowering commission fees for small publishers generating less than 1 million U.S. dollars in yearly revenues, the two tech giants might face additional restrictions and limitations in all their major markets. In the case of Apple, in 2021, the company updated its App Store policies, allowing developers to offer alternative payment methods. In 2022, Apple updated its review guidelines, requiring developers to share more information about collecting and using data, including disclosing the types of collected data and how it's used.