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10 Mobile App Stats for Developers in 2020

By Nick Epson on August 27, 2020

It’s interesting to see how our software has evolved over the past couple of decades as today, the most regularly used software isn’t on our desktops or laptops, but on our smartphones – as such, there are some compelling mobile app stats you should know if you’re planning on building an app. The pocket-sized computer from yesteryear’s science fiction is part of reality and for business, this can mean revenue streams.

Mobile apps and other mobile-friendly technology like progressive web apps (PWAs) are what make our devices useful. As such, it’s worth understanding some of the statistics related to the mobile world as these figures and trends reveal why there is so much opportunity in software development.

A look at the 10 mobile app stats for developers in 2020

Mobile app stats show us why smart devices represent substantial business prospects for revenue streams. The following are what we feel are some of the most interesting mobile app stats in the world today.

1.) The combined number of smartphones and tablets in use right now is just over 4.5 billion. There are some 3.8 billion smartphone users and at least 1.14 billion tablet users based on data from 2017.

2.) The combined market share for Android and Apple is about 98% with Android comprising roughly 78% of mobile devices and Apple making up the remaining 20%.

3.) The cross-platform development framework, React Native, accounts for 42% of all apps in circulation built with a cross-development framework, followed closely by Flutter at 39% then Ionic and Cordova, both at 18%.

4.) By 2022, annual mobile app downloads in the US are expected to reach $258 billion and the annual consumer spend is projected to reach $157 billion.

5.) Worldwide, users around the world are spending some $387 billion on in-app purchases (IAP) which accounts for 48.2% of all mobile spending.

6.) Based on 2019 figures, spending on non-game app subscriptions (i.e. in-app subscriptions or IAS) hit the $120 billion mark last year.

7.) Wonder what spending is so high? Consider that, per 2019 numbers, the average American checks their phone 96 times a day which translates to about once every ten minutes.

8.) About 90% of the time a user is on their phone, they’re using a downloaded app.

9.) Based on figures collected during the pandemic, users now spend an average of 27% of their day on their mobile devices which is up from 20% in 2019.

10.) Conversational apps – think like the language learning app, Duolingo – are becoming the most widely developed type of app with 73% of all apps now containing a voice interface function. Too, some 60% of apps now host some kind of chatbot, many of which feature the ability to interact via voice.

What all these mobile app stats mean for business

Starting at the beginning of the list, mobile devices offer one of the largest surfaces to make revenue in the world. A lot like the automobile, the fact that smart devices are everywhere means that there are bountiful opportunities to make money. Vehicles need fuel, maintenance, and sometimes, additional augmentations which can be likened to the software that runs on mobile devices. Offering an app to a consumer is much like having a fueling station or auto shop in the automotive world.

Spending figures have continued to grow since the advent of smart devices a little over a decade ago. As the market share for mobile devices has increased, so has the demand for supporting software in the form of mobile apps.

It’s important to understand that cultural shifts have essentially reshaped how we spend our money. We’re much more likely to pay for services in a subscription form which is why IAS subscriptions are so popular. Too, we see that games (and other select apps) that offer IAP purchases are likely to get consumers to spend money. People are willing to pay small amounts regularly to get access to something they like or, as with many mobile games, pay small amounts for additional features. 

The spending habits of people showcase that we value customization and we’ll pay reasonable amounts to “tweak” our applications to our liking.

The fact that Americans spend so much time on their devices (this is true for other countries as well) solidifies the fact that mobile apps are among the most widely used products and services in the world. Nothing quite captivates the attention of the average human more than smart devices. Of course, just because you have an app doesn’t guarantee that you make money.

Getting in on the action

At Blue Label Labs, we know that we can create platforms for any device that generates money. However, businesses need to first ask themselves hard questions before delving into building an app. The mobile app stats above show that there is certainly money being tossed at apps but it’s important to understand that there needs to be an appeal and users need to know your app exists.

We start most of our development projects with a Design Sprint that allows us to look at questions and derive answers as work toward building a prototype of your idea. We help refine strategies for businesses that help ensure that the product we build or remaster falls into the hands of the right people. From here, we help maintain your app such that it capitalizes on the market.

Blue Label Labs can build software that gets you a piece of the pie

We capture the essence of your business in the platforms we build – our designs intend to captivate audiences and drive your business toward its goals. We work side-by-side with ambitious companies, brands, and founders to execute on our holistic approach to strategy, design, and engineering. Together, we make bolder choices and uncover transformative change with customer-centric and truly user-validated digital products.

If you’re in the market to take advantage of the mobile app market then reach out to us so we can discuss your ideas.

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