Outside of China, Apple and Google control more than 95 percent of the app store market share through iOS and Android, respectively. Both mobile OSes originally came with a few pre-installed apps, but quickly added third-party developers to improve the experience.
Within a year of both being available, tens of thousands of developers were building apps and games for the platforms. In less than five years, both Apple and Google had over one millions apps and games available, which generated millions in app revenue for both companies.
The app economy was built on these two platforms, which have expanded their offerings to include apps for consumers and every type of business. It is estimated to be worth approximately $6.3 trillion according to App Annie.
Apple and Google have both, for the past three years, added more barriers to entry for developers. They have also purged millions of apps from their respective stores, in an attempt to improve quality across the ecosystem.
As Android is unavailable in China, several app stores have sprung up in the country, which include MyApp by Tencent, Huawei App Market, OPPO software store and a few others. These account for approximately 75 percent of all app downloads in China.
Apple is able to continue to operate in China with its app store, although the Chinese government regularly sweep the store to remove apps and games.
We have collected data on the two main app stores in the West, Apple and Google Play. Read on below to find out more.
Apple App Store Statistics
Originally Steve Jobs did not see the iPhone as this ecosystem for third-party apps, the first App Store launched a year after the iPhone announcement, with 500 applications available. It has since grown to be the largest revenue generating store with over 4.3 million apps available worldwide.
Apps & Games in the Apple App Store
|Year||Apple Store Apps and Games|
Apple has shown positive growth every year, even though it removes hundreds of thousands of apps and games every year as part of its focus on quality control and serviceability on all new devices. In 2020, 400,000 new apps were added to the App Store, bringing the total to 4.3 million.
Apps in the Apple App Store
|Year||Apple Store Apps|
While it has consistently grown year-on-year, Apple was more heavy handed with app removals in 2017, as can be seen by the 0.1 million growth in comparison to the 0.4 million growth the year before. In 2020, there were 3.4 million apps on the App Store.
Games in the Apple App Store
|Year||Apple Store Games|
Games accounted for 21 percent of all apps on the Apple App Store, with a 3.5 percent increase on available games from 2019 to 2020. As with apps, growth slowed in 2017, as Apple started to remove more games from the App Store.
Most Popular Apple App Store Categories
|Category||Percentage of App Store|
|Travel & Local||3.80%|
|Food & Drink||3.57%|
|Health & Fitness||3.41%|
|Music & Audio||2.32%|
|Photo & Video||2.06%|
Games make up a significant portion of the Apple App Store, which is not surprising as Apple’s key markets are North America, China and Japan, which are known for higher mobile game usage. Business apps were the second largest category, at 10.11 percent of the Apple App Store.
Paid vs Free Apps in Apple App Store
Apple has a larger percentage of apps which are paid for, although both paid apps account for less than 10 percent on both stores. As many app developers have found out, only a small subsection of smartphone owners are willing to pay for apps, although more apps have started adding subscription and freemium services.
Average App Price in Apple App Store
|App Type||Average Price|
Average prices for an app and game on the App Store have increased overtime, as more customers become willing to pay for apps. The average price is still lower than the Google Play Store however, even though the Apple App Store has more paid apps.
Google Play App Store Statistics
About four months after Apple launched its App Store, Google followed with the Android Market. It has since been rebranded to the Google Play Store, which is available in every country apart from China. In China, Tencent, Huawei, Oppo and a few other platforms offer their own app stores, which all run on Android.
Apps & Games in the Google Play Store
|Year||Google Play Apps and Games|
Google has spent the past two years cleaning up the Google Play App Store, removing hundreds of thousands of apps which are either incompatible or low quality. In 2020, the Google Play Store had 2.9 million apps and games, a 7.4 percent increase on 2019.
Apps in the Google Play Store
|Year||Google Play Apps|
Similar to Apple, Google embarked on a campaign to clean up its store in 2017 by removing low-quality apps. 2018 to 2019 was the first time the Google Play Store saw a decline in apps available, dropping from 2.6 to 2.3 million. In 2020, there were 2.5 million apps available on the store.
Games in the Google Play Store
|Year||Google Play Games|
Google has also been focused on removing low-quality games from the store, removing over half of the games from its store in 2018. From 2018 to 2020, there has been a 39 percent reduction in the amount of games available on the Google Play Store.
Most Popular Google Play Store Categories
|Category||Percentage of App Store|
|Music & Audio||5.50%|
|Food & Drink||3.61%|
|Health & Fitness||3.53%|
|Travel & Local||3.13%|
Games make up a lower percentage of the Google Play store, however outside of that, both apps stores are similar in their most popular categories. Business and education are high up on the list for both. Direct comparisons are not perfect as the two stores have slightly different categorisation systems for apps.
Paid vs Free Apps in Google Play Store
A greater percentage of the Google Play Store is free, which is to be expected as Android is more popular with lower income demographics in comparison to iPhone. There were 114,000 paid apps available on the Google Play Store in May 2021.
Average App Price in Google Play Store
|App Type||Average App Price|
Even though less of the Google Play Store is made up of paid apps, the average cost is higher for both apps and games in comparison to the Apple App Store.