If you’re a mobile application developer and are looking to get inside the mind of today’s mobile app users, Statista is certainly the place to do it. Here are 20 of the most interesting stats we found when it comes to mobile application development.

By Sydney Stone

If you haven’t yet heard of, you’ll want to head there immediately and bookmark the site on your current web browser. It is the absolute best place on the web to get the most-up-to date statistics and infographics about pretty much anything you can possibly think of.

Statista features survey results, reports, and charts from over 22,500 sources, broken down across all industries and for both consumer and digital markets. When it comes to the mobile app market, there are a multitude of interesting stats…from the most popular apps all over the world to the ones people are hoping will “die off” soon. (Sorry Twitter, but happen to be at the top of that list!)

If you’re a mobile application developer and are looking to get inside the mind of today’s mobile app users, Statista is certainly the place to do it. Here are 20 of the most interesting stats we found when it comes to mobile application development.

1. To date, iOS app developers have earned over $86 Billion developing apps for the Apple App Store.

Mobile application development pays and it pays well. Since the debut of Apple’s App Store in 2008, developers that have created applications made available on the store have earned over $86 billion, according to Apple. Mobile app downloads grew by more than 70 percent in just the last year alone, and the App Store now has more than two million available mobile apps.

2. These 10 companies are generating the most gaming revenue.

If you’re a developer of gaming apps (or just an avid gamer), you may already be aware of the fact that Tencent is the leader in the list of companies earning the most revenue from games in the first half of 2017. The company has a major stake in several of the most popular mobile games in the world, including League of Legends, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Clash of Clans.

Rounding out the top ten companies in the mobile gaming app space are Sony, Activision, Microsoft, Apple, Electronic Arts, NetEase, Google, Bandai Namco, and Nexon.

3. Top 10 Categories for Android and iOS Mobile Applications (as of January 2018)

Tools and communication apps tend to be tops in the Android categories while games and business apps lead iOS. Here are the most Top 10 most popular categories for both operating systems. Consider these when deciding whether to go for native or cross-platform development.

Android App Categories               iOS App Categories

  1. Tools                                         1. Games
  2. Communication                          2. Business
  3. Video Players & Edit                   3. Education
  4. Travel & Local                            4. Lifestyle
  5. Social                                        5. Entertainment
  6. Productivity                               6. Utilities
  7. Music & Audio                            7. Travel
  8.  Entertainment                           8. Health & Fitness
  9. News & Magazines                     9. Books
  10. Books & Reference                    10. Food & Drink

4. The Top 10 Global Android Apps

At the end of March 2018, the following ten apps had a combined download total of 299 million. WhatsApp tops the list for both Android and iOS operating systems. These are the total numbers of downloads for each of the following ten Android apps.              

  1. WhatsApp – 60.23 million
  2.  Messenger – 56.20 million
  3.  PUBG MOBILE – 32.24 million
  4.  Instagram – 29.04 million
  5.  AliExpress – 25.15 million
  6.  Wish – 22.39 million
  7.  Facebook – 22.30 million
  8.  Facebook Lite – 19.98 million
  9.  The Sims Mobile – 17.02 million
  10. Garena Free Fire – 14.75 million

5. The Top 10 Global iOS Apps

For worldwide iOS downloads at the end of March 2018, the following ten iOS apps had a combined download total of 68 million.  Once again, WhatsApp tops the chart. Here are the total numbers of downloads from Apple’s App Store for the ten most popular apps.            

  1. WhatsApp – 9.15 million
  2.  Fortnite – 8.71 million
  3.  Messenger – 8.62 million
  4.  PUBG Mobile – 7.81 million
  5.  Facebook – 7.51 million
  6.  Sims Mobile – 6.93 million
  7.  AliExpress – 5.33 million
  8.  Spotify Music – 5.19 million
  9.  Knives Out – 5.13 million
  10. PUBG Mobile (Chinese version)  – 4 million

6. The average smartphone user in the United States looks at their mobile device 47 times a day.

Americans are addicted to their smartphones. According to a study by Deloitte, the average mobile phone user in the United States looks at their screen approximately 47 times a day. 80% of mobile phone users check their device right before they go to sleep and shortly after waking up in the morning. Almost half the people surveyed admitted to trying to limit their mobile phone usage, but reportedly only 30% have done so successfully.

7. These are the top 10 must-have apps according to millennials.

In a July 2017 survey conducted by comScore, 1,033 millennial smartphone users in the United States were asked to name their top three essential mobile apps. These were the most popular apps they are currently using.

  1. Amazon
  2. Gmail
  3. Facebook
  4. Messenger
  5. YouTube
  6. Google Maps
  7. Google Search
  8. Apple App Store
  9. WhatsApp
  10. Instagram

8. Google Play has the most apps available in its store, with a whopping 2.8 million.

While Apple’s App Store still generates the most revenue from its apps, Google has a much bigger app store when it comes to the number of apps available. Apple comes in second with Microsoft Windows Store, Amazon Appstore, and BlackBerry World rounding out the list.

9. The mobile app market is set for a 385% growth rate through 2021.

China is set to hold the record for highest growth with an estimated $2.6 trillion in revenue while the United States will experience the biggest proportional increase with a 310% rise hitting $820 billion.

10. One out of every four e-commerce dollars spent in the United States is spent on the purchase of a mobile device.

Mobile device spending in the United States accounted for 23 percent of all e-commerce spending in Q3 2017. Back in 2010, it was only 2 percent.

11. Young people spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television.

While adults spend twice as much time watching television as they do on their mobile devices, that number is flipped when it comes to the younger generation. If you’re an advertiser looking to reach the millennial audience, you’ll have to do it through their mobile device.

12. Mobile e-commerce growth worldwide is predicted to grow to almost 73% of all e-commerce sales by 2021.

Over the next 3 years, mobile e-commerce sales could reach $3.5 trillion and account for up to three-quarters of all e-commerce sales in general.

13. The Apple App Store will offer approximately 5.06 million apps by 2020.

Back in 2008, there were only around 5,000 apps in the Apple App Store. At the end of 2015, there were 1.75 million. According to SensorTower, this number will grow to 5.06 million by 2020.

14. Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps in the United States

In a study conducted by Prioridata, the music streaming service Pandora was the top-grossing iPhone app in the United States as of November, 2017, followed by Netflix, Tinder, Candy Crush Saga, HBO Now, Clash Royale, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Hulu, Clash of Clans, and MARVEL Contest of Champions.

15. Top 10 Grossing Android Apps in the United States

Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga top the list of the highest grossing Android apps in the United States. Rounding out the top ten are Pandora Music, Slotomania – Vegas Slots Casino, Clash of Clans, Homescapes, Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, Gardenscapes, Tinder, and Golf Clash.

16. Apple Pay is currently the most accepted payment app for mobile devices.

Although not yet available worldwide, Apple Pay is currently responsible for 90 percent of NFC payment transactions. In the United States alone, Apple Pay is the most popular alternative payment method when it comes to retail acceptance, followed by Paypal, Masterpass, Android Pay, Visa Checkout, Samsung Pay and Chase Pay.

17. Mobile apps with built-in Artificial Intelligence

Deloitte states that 65% of mobile phone owners have used an app featuring Artificial Intelligence, some of them without even realizing it.

18. These apps are the ones that people are using several times a day.

It’s no surprise that Facebook tops the list of apps that users in the United States say they use most often throughout the day. According to a report by Audience Project, out of 1,757 responses to the study, 53% admitted to logging on to Facebook several times per day. Rounding out the top ten are WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Periscope, and Pinterest.

19. The 8 Most Important Gaming Platforms for 2018

A recent survey from UBM determined the eight most important gaming platforms for 2018 according to developers. With 4,000 survey participants, 60% stated they were working on a game that would be released for PCs, followed by PS4/Pro, Nintendo Switch, VR Headsets, Smartphones/Tablets, Xbox One/X, AR Headsets and Mac.

20. These are the apps that people wish would go ahead and die already.

Finally, there are some apps that users think have “jumped the shark” so to speak. The following chart from Statista reflects Harris Poll data published by recode. Of 2,000 Americans surveyed, these are the apps that people viewed most negatively.

In conclusion, if all of these stats tell us anything, it’s that the mobile app market and the demand for mobile devices in general will continue to grow at a rapid pace as consumers spend more and more time interacting with their devices. When you add in the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and the prevalence of the Internet of Things, you can safely predict that mobile app developers will have a certain degree of job security for the foreseeable future.

Sydney Stone is a freelance writer and editor who has written many pieces for various startup and B2B technology companies. Sydney’s interests expand from fashion and drama to tech and marketing. Currently Sydney is writing for iTechArt, a NYC-based software development company.

Mobile app stock photo by

By Billion Photos