Worldwide Mobile App Sales Surpass $100 Billion In 2020

Mobile App Downloads

People worldwide have spent over $100 billion this year on mobile apps and games, hitting a new all-time high.

According to a report by Sensor Tower, consumers shelled out around $407 million on Christmas alone for apps and games from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. That’s 35 percent more than the $303 million they spent during the same period in 2019. In comparison, spending in 2019 rose 17 percent over that of 2018.

Sensor Tower said mobile spending hit $9 billion during December, with mobile games being the most popular purchase. Gaming purchases shot up 27 percent to $295.6 million on Christmas, from $232.4 million in 2019. Tencent’s Honor of Kings was the big winner, with gamers spending $10.7 million on the Chinese gaming platform on Christmas, up 206 percent from the same day in 2019.

Consumer spending on non-game apps soared 59 percent to $112 million for Christmas. Entertainment was the biggest category, with app purchases jumping 22 percent to $19.3 million through Apple’s App Store. Entertainment purchases through Google Play rose 19 percent to $4.3 million, Sensor Tower said.

TikTok was another standout, with the hugely popular Chinese entertainment app generating $4.7 million on Christmas.

Sales through Apple’s App Store continued to outpace those of Google Play, with the App Store generating sales of $278.6 million on Christmas, compared with Google Play’s $129 million.

Sensor Tower said that U.S. consumers generated the most sales for mobile games this Christmas, with U.S. sales climbing to $87.2 million, up 26 percent from last year. Non-game app sales soared 72 percent to $42.7 million.

Roblox was the top seller, said Sensor Tower, with sales of the popular gaming platform jumping 40 percent year over year to $6.6 million on Christmas. Roblox was followed Disney+, which saw sales climb 44 percent to $2.6 million.

Earlier this month, App Annie reported that global spending in app stores soared this year, hitting $112 billion and growing 25 percent since last year.

Spending in Apple‘s App Store and Google‘s Google Play set a new record, App Annie said in the report, and despite 65 cents of every dollar going to iOS, Google Play spending is set to grow nearly 30 percent.

The top markets spurring growth for iOS are the U.S., Japan and the U.K., a shift from 2018 and 2019 when China was among the top markets for growth, the report stated. For Google Play, the top markets include the U.S., South Korea and Germany, a change from the past few years when the U.K. and Japan were among them, according to the App Annie report.

In a separate report, App Annie said 2019 is on track for a 5 percent year-over-year increase in consumer app downloads via the Apple and Google ecosystem, which translates into a record 120 billion apps (the number does not include third-party Android apps).

“This is particularly impressive given that these are net new downloads and do not include re-installs or app updates,” wrote App Annie Market Insights Manager Adithya Venkatraman in the report. “Consumer spend is set to grow even faster at 15 percent year over year, and will approach $90 billion worldwide in 2019 (excluding third-party Android).”

The pandemic saw an all-time high record of mobile app usage, according to market data from App Annie. The monthly time spent on apps rose 40 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2020, resulting in over 200 billion hours logged on apps in April, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the Google Pay revamp that launched last month (Nov. 18) has catapulted the app to the top of the charts. The app quickly became No. 1 for finance on Google PlayApptopia reported. By Dec. 9, it had skyrocketed to No. 1 overall and has stayed there since.