India is the third largest smartphone market in the world in terms of active users, and it has been experiencing major growth in mobile apps due to increasing smartphone usage and greater affordability. Annual revenue has tripled in the four years since 2018 and forecasts suggest strong growth for several years.
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated India’s transition to a mobile economy as businesses shifted to digital transactions. Yet with fewer than half of the population having access to a smartphone, there remains a lot of room for further expansion. The Broadband India Forum has predicted that the app economy could be worth around 12 percent of India’s GDP by 2030, presuming the market’s expansion continues at four times the rate of the country’s wider economic growth.
Social media and communications apps have found particular popularity – WhatsApp has over 300 million users and Instagram was downloaded more than 320 million times in the last year alone. Facebook and Snapchat were also among the most downloaded apps of 2022.
Superapps like Grab or WeChat are proving popular in many parts of South East Asia, and there are signs of this model gaining traction in India. Truecaller, which screens calls from strangers and bots, also allows users to send messages, complete payments, and apply for loans. This could potentially expand into areas such as food-delivery, ecommerce and ride-hailing.
Mobile gaming is one of the most popular sectors of the app market in India, with 420 million gamers in 2022. This is estimated to grow by as much as 30 percent annually as smartphone access widens and network capacities expand. However, this could be impacted by the Indian government’s sanctions of Chinese mobile games over security concerns. The government has banned over 100 gaming, gambling, sports and other apps since 2020 over alleged weaknesses in data protection.
Overall, the future of the Indian market appears strong, with increased investment and new innovations. The country is in the process of rolling out 5G technology and 5G subscriptions are estimated to reach 700 million by the end of 2028. Around 10 million 5G subscriptions were made by the end of 2022, helping to increase mobile network data traffic.
We have collected data and statistics on the Indian mobile app market. Read on below to find out more.
Key India App Market Statistics
- The Indian app market earned $2.7 billion in revenue in 2022, up from $2.3 billion the previous year
- Apps were downloaded in India 28.9 billion times last year
- In 2022, India had 659 million smartphone users
- Free Fire Max was the top grossing app in India in 2022, earning $83 million
- India’s smartphone usage has grown to 46.5 percent of the population in 2022
India App Market Revenue
Revenue in the Indian app market has grown rapidly in recent years, from $900 million in 2018 to $2.7 billion in four years. However, consumer spend per user is relatively low, at just over $4.
India app market annual revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
India consumer spend per user 2017 to 2022 ($)
India App Market Revenue by App
Free Fire Max was the top grossing app in India in 2022 after the original version of Free Fire was banned by the Indian government.
India revenue by app 2022 ($mm)
|Free Fire Max||83|
|Clash of Clans||8.9|
|Tango Live Stream||7.9|
India Smartphone Users
The number of Indian smartphone users has risen rapidly since 2020, with more than 200 million more users in 2022 last year.
Annual India smartphone users 2017 to 2022 (mm)
India Smartphone Population
Under half of the Indian population use smartphones at 46.5% in 2022. This is an increase from 31.8% in 2020.
India population smartphone usage 2017 to 2022 (%)
Time Spent on Apps in India
In 2022, Indian users spent almost 750 billion hours on mobile apps, up from 700 billion the previous year.
Hours spent on mobile apps in India 2020 to 2022 (bn)
India App Market Downloads
The number of app downloads in India rose from 26.7 billion in 2021 to 28.9 billion the following year.
India app downloads 2016 to 2022 (bn)
India downloads per user 2020 to 2022
India Downloads by App
Instagram was by far the most downloaded app in India in 2022 at 327 million downloads.
India downloads by app 2022 (mm)