App Store Data (2021)

David Curry

Updated: May 13, 2021

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.

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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.

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We have collected data on the two main app stores in the West, Apple and Google Play. Read on below to find out more.

App Store key statistics

  • Apple’s App Store has 4.3 million apps and games, while Google Play Store has 2.9 million as of November 2020
  • Apple’s App Store has a higher amount and higher percentage of paid apps on its store
  • Google Play has higher average prices for apps and games on its store
  • A higher percentage of games make up Apple’s App Store, Google Play has a higher percentage of educational apps

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
2009 0.12 million
2010 0.21 million
2011 0.37 million
2012 0.57 million
2013 0.87 million
2014 1.1 million
2015 1.8 million
2016 2.6 million
2017 3.1 million
2018 3.2 million
2019 3.9 million
2020 4.3 million

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
2009 0.07 million
2010 0.15 million
2011 0.28 million
2012 0.45 million
2013 0.71 million
2014 0.95 million
2015 1.4 million
2016 1.9 million
2017 2.3 million
2018 2.4 million
2019 3.0 million
2020 3.4 million

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
2009 50,000
2010 65,000
2011 89,000
2012 119,000
2013 163,000
2014 224,000
2015 396,000
2016 631,000
2017 783,000
2018 812,000
2019 903,000
2020 935,000

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
Games 21.86%
Business 10.11%
Education 8.68%
Lifestyle 8.62%
Tools 6.12%
Entertainment 5.79%
Travel & Local 3.80%
Food & Drink 3.57%
Health & Fitness 3.41%
Productivity 3.08%
Finance 2.45%
Shopping 2.42%
Books 2.39%
Music & Audio 2.32%
Social 2.28%
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

Pricing Percentage
Paid 7.70% (337,030)
Free 92.30% (4,039,970)

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
App $5.5
Game $2.8
Average $4.9

Source: AppInventiv

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
2010 0.07 million
2011 0.25 million
2012 0.6 million
2013 1.0 million
2014 1.3 million
2015 1.6 million
2016 2.2 million
2017 3.0 million
2018 3.3 million
2019 2.7 million
2020 2.9 million

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
2010 0.06 million
2011 0.19 million
2012 0.46 million
2013 0.7 million
2014 1.0 million
2015 1.2 million
2016 1.7 million
2017 2.4 million
2018 2.6 million
2019 2.3 million
2020 2.5 million

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
2010 6,300
2011 53,750
2012 137,000
2013 230,000
2014 288,000
2015 315,000
2016 472,000
2017 574,000
2018 605,000
2019 336,000
2020 365,000

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
Games 13.44%
Education 9.43%
Business 6.91%
Tools 5.98%
Entertainment 5.86%
Music & Audio 5.50%
Lifestyle 5.38%
Books 4.36%
Personalisation 4.12%
Shopping 3.65%
Food & Drink 3.61%
Productivity 3.54%
Health & Fitness 3.53%
Travel & Local 3.13%
Finance 3.0%
Communication 2.08%

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

Pricing Percentage
Paid 114,000 (3.8%)
Free 2,890,000 (96.2%)

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
App $6.3
Game $4.7 
Average $6

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.

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