The latest app download statistics

A breakdown by country of the most popular app download services to help make the business case

As you hear so often, “there’s an App for that”. Yes indeed. Around 1 million, with 500,000 available on Apple’s iTunes App Store, and a similar number on Google’s Android Market at the last count, and multiplying at breakneck speed.

Apps are a truly global phenomenon, with mass consumer appeal. Apple’s App store has now reached 25 billion downloads, tracking at 1 billion downloads a month, a figure nine times greater than McDonald’s sells burgers.  Apps have made a healthy contribution to Apple’s revenues, generating an estimated $6 billion, comprising the 30% Apple takes in the cost of App downloads, charges from in-App payments, and revenue from iAd, its in-App advertising business that is still finding its feet.

Android to over take Apple soon

If we look at the number of Apps, it’s estimated by Xyologic that Google’s Android Market App store will host the same number of Apps by August 2012 (680,000 each), and as we’ll see later, for brands seeking a quick route to market on Apps, Android offers some distinct advantages over Apple. Both points underline that the App world is no longer an enduring love affair between Apple and its adoring iPhone and iPad users.

It’s true that Nokia developed its App store before Apple took its first game changing moves in mobile. It’s true that Microsoft offers mobile customers an App store with some 25,000 featured Apps. And it’s true that BlackBerry users can access Apps through the BlackBerry World App store. But the real challenger to Apple comes from Google. Its Android Planet App store has established real scale, is growing faster than Apple’s iTunes, and poses the real threat to Apple’s dominance.

Country app download service breakdown

For a regional/country breakdown of app popularity check out the latest Xyologic App Download statistics which do a great job of cataloguing app downloads in the Europe, Asia and the US. Australia and Brazil are also covered. Great statistics to put into your business case: good that the iPhone/iPad breakdown is covered and Windows Phone 7.

Taking the mobile app vs optimised site decision

Despite the staggering figures, businesses still need to be be honest about whether you need an App. A mobile optimised site maybe a better first option if you haven’t ticked that box yet. But perhaps an app offers a better opportunity to expand your reach, either through app development, sponsorship or purchase. You’ll probably have seen the amazing story of Zynga purchasing the “Draw Something” app since it was in the Business Insider’s words‘Draw Something’ clobbering Zynga’s ‘Words With Friends’. The growth figures speak for themselves:

Draw Something

In my next post we’ll look in more depth at how to approach the App vs mobilised site decision.

  • Simon J

    Looking forward to your next post about mobilisation vs app.

  • Ben Hogan

    Nothing about money generated from apps on each platform, and no consideration that the number of apps per device is much lower on android, so more likely to all be made up of facebook downloads (everyone has facebook on their smartphone).

    • Rob Thurner

      Please see below reply to Benny on monetisation. Interested by your views on numbers of app per device. My view is most paid-for apps are downloaded by iPhone users, rather than Android users, and that since paid-for apps have greater perceived value, they enjoy a longer lifetime on the device.

  • Benny Martinez Perez

    Two corrections, the Android Market was never called Android Planet. By the time of this post I believe they were switching to Google Play as well. Besides that, good post with lots of charts but there really was nothing on money generated.

    • Maria de Los Angeles

      I just had a look… App Planet is the equivalent of Installous on iOS. So… Could you try a little harder to look like you researched next time.

      • Rob Thurner

        Thanks for pointing that out. Android’s app store is Google Play.

    • Rob Thurner

      Thanks Benny. I have not looked in detail into monetisation of apps. At a high level, Apple generated approx $6 billion in app revenues in the first 4 years of apps (April 2008 – April 2012). This comprises download costs and in-app sales. As a rule, Apple and Android take 30% of both download and in-app sales; Microsoft takes 20%.

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