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App stores - Statistics & Facts

App stores or app marketplaces are digital distribution platforms for mobile and desktop apps. They offer online users a plethora of apps to browse through, purchase or download for free - a concept that is proving increasingly successful around the world. In 2020, over 218 billion apps were downloaded worldwide and numbers are only going to increase. Apps are usually run on specific devices and written for a particular operating system. Considering that Android and Apple’s iOS are the two leading operating systems for mobiles, it is no surprise that the largest global platforms for app distribution are Google Play and the Apple App Store. Between the two hosts, almost 143 billion apps were downloaded in 2020.

In terms of content volume, Google Play is the largest app store in the world. The number of apps available on Google Play has been continuously increasing since the release of the platform in 2008. After surpassing the one million mark in 2013 and reaching a peak of 3.6 million available apps in early 2018, the number of apps temporarily declined in mid-2018 before growing again. As of 2020, over 3.14 million apps were available for download in the store. Even though the majority of Google Play Store apps are free, Google’s digital content and app platform generates double-digit revenue figures each year from games sales and in-app payments.

Apple’s App Store is the second-largest app store worldwide. The pioneer platform offered close to 2.09 million apps to iOS users at the end of 2020. Although Google has led the ranking of available apps and app downloads for several years, Apple continues to record higher mobile user spending and gross app revenue figures. Among the various app categories and genres driving consumer spending on the world’s first app marketplace, gaming stands out as the largest source of app revenue in the Apple App Store.

While Google Play and the App Store are the most prominent distribution channels for mobile apps, offering almost global coverage to a broad potential audience, a new wave of alternative app stores is gaining a visible foothold in the market. The Chinese app market is growing particularly fast: As the Google Play Store is not available in the country, various Android stores have already been developed; resulting in a fragmented app store landscape. Among the many players, Tencent Appstore held the largest Android app store market share in China as of 2020. Seeing that China is the region with the highest number of mobile app downloads worldwide, the country’s domestic players will likely increase their influence in the years to come.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "App stores" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Apple App Store

Google Play Store

Spotlight: China

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 43 most important statistics relating to "App stores".

App stores

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!
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App stores - Statistics & Facts

App stores or app marketplaces are digital distribution platforms for mobile and desktop apps. They offer online users a plethora of apps to browse through, purchase or download for free - a concept that is proving increasingly successful around the world. In 2020, over 218 billion apps were downloaded worldwide and numbers are only going to increase. Apps are usually run on specific devices and written for a particular operating system. Considering that Android and Apple’s iOS are the two leading operating systems for mobiles, it is no surprise that the largest global platforms for app distribution are Google Play and the Apple App Store. Between the two hosts, almost 143 billion apps were downloaded in 2020.

In terms of content volume, Google Play is the largest app store in the world. The number of apps available on Google Play has been continuously increasing since the release of the platform in 2008. After surpassing the one million mark in 2013 and reaching a peak of 3.6 million available apps in early 2018, the number of apps temporarily declined in mid-2018 before growing again. As of 2020, over 3.14 million apps were available for download in the store. Even though the majority of Google Play Store apps are free, Google’s digital content and app platform generates double-digit revenue figures each year from games sales and in-app payments.

Apple’s App Store is the second-largest app store worldwide. The pioneer platform offered close to 2.09 million apps to iOS users at the end of 2020. Although Google has led the ranking of available apps and app downloads for several years, Apple continues to record higher mobile user spending and gross app revenue figures. Among the various app categories and genres driving consumer spending on the world’s first app marketplace, gaming stands out as the largest source of app revenue in the Apple App Store.

While Google Play and the App Store are the most prominent distribution channels for mobile apps, offering almost global coverage to a broad potential audience, a new wave of alternative app stores is gaining a visible foothold in the market. The Chinese app market is growing particularly fast: As the Google Play Store is not available in the country, various Android stores have already been developed; resulting in a fragmented app store landscape. Among the many players, Tencent Appstore held the largest Android app store market share in China as of 2020. Seeing that China is the region with the highest number of mobile app downloads worldwide, the country’s domestic players will likely increase their influence in the years to come.

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