The Global App Market is Booming: What are you doing about it?



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There are over three billion smartphone users in the world today. That means just under half the world’s population has a smartphone, and this number is expected to grow by several hundred million in the near future. This smartphone revolution clearly provides a massive opportunity for the global app market.

According to Technavio, the global app market is predicted to grow from 2018 by a factor x5 to $497.09 billion by 2024. Put simply, the global app market is huge, and it is only getting bigger.

Several factors are contributing to this accelerated growth. Let’s break down the nuts and bolts and see where this growth is coming from, and what it means for app marketeers.

Global App Downloads League Table

A glance at this graph is very revealing. Firstly, you may or may not be surprised to see India topping the charts of the largest number of new app installs in Q2 2019 with a massive 5.4 billion first-time downloads.

While the United States is second, of greater interest to us, and to you should be the huge growth in economies previously given less attention. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, Turkey and Thailand are all recently economically developed countries, yet already they are taking up half the spots on worldwide downloads of apps.

Geography is a key factor today in the app market, and the biggest growth in any region in the world is in Asia. Knowledge like this shows us the importance of increasing the reach of your apps into previously unexplored markets abroad.

The rapid growth of mobile phone usage in developing countries is not the only factor you need to be aware of which is reshaping the app development market. You guessed it: COVID-19 also has a role to play.

The pandemic has tossed all aspects of the global market into a state of disarray, however, the global app market is one of the few industries that have come out ahead from the situation. Nothing, it seems, can halt its rise.

Mobile app downloads and usage skyrocketed during quarantine as people adjusted to a more digitalised world to fill the void left by the lack of outside activities. Consequently, throughout the initial 10 weeks of 2020, Google’s global share of Android app sales rose by 5% to $360 million and Apple’s share of iPhone app sales grew 18% to $690 million.

Which apps are fuelling this growth? One of the big winners in Europe was health and fitness apps, which had a 46% spike in downloads in March. Mobile game downloads and reading apps also jumped by 19% and 21% respectively, while Netflix and other entertainment apps also saw huge increases. Not to mention the huge spike in the use of communication apps such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, or the explosion of group video-calling apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Houseparty.

While many of these surges may seem like knee jerk reactions, market commentators have indicated that the impact of COVID-19 will be here for the long-haul. It is quite clear to us at Airnow Data that there will be a large increase in app downloads in the remote work and education sectors, and we don’t think this will let up either.

So, in terms of the global app market, COVID-19 looks set to cause a lasting lift to an already booming industry, with the number of app downloads set to hit 187.3 billion by 2024, which represents an increase of 9% from pre-COVID-19 forecasts.

No matter which way you look at it, the app market is in pole position to become an even bigger powerhouse as the world adjusts to life in the ‘new normal’. With so many emerging countries now topping the app downloads charts, and the surge in mobile app-usage in light of the pandemic, it has never been more important to adjust your app marketing strategy to global trends. That is why at Airnow data, we target users across the world and offer up to date, relevant data on the most important aspects of the global app market.