Mobile App Market Report 2022
Starting in 2020, we have published a report on the mobile applications market, namely, the dynamics of app stores and analytics of downloads and revenues, Tops in categories, and the popularity of games and applications. And almost every year began with the words - the market of mobile games and applications is in the stage of active growth and development. But 2022 has changed a lot. No sooner had the world entered the phase of post-COVID growth as new events broke out, changing trends and the specter of an impending crisis became more and more obvious.
How is the mobile games and apps industry behaving? How sensitive will the market be? - let's figure it out.
The main characteristics of the mobile market
Today, most people around the world use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which creates a huge market for various mobile apps and games. Just remember, or rather trace, how integration with a smartphone no longer seems like something futuristic. Your shopping lists are in your notes, your appointment reminders, and your recent pictures are all in the patient's account in a special application; you will know how your friends from Instagram are doing - this list can be extended endlessly. After all, you even pay for all purchases and services already from the device (I think leather goods suffer losses with the advent of Google Pay and Apple Pay - who needs wallets if you can pay contactless everywhere). Applications have entered our lives so tightly that it is difficult to imagine something else. Will this symbiosis help the mobile app market weather the crisis storm?
Many companies and independent developers create games and applications for mobile devices to meet the needs of users in various fields, including social networks, entertainment, health and fitness, travel, education, finance, etc. However, all this makes the market for mobile games and applications very competitive, raising the entry threshold and making life difficult for newcomers to this market.
So, there are several trends that can be seen in the mobile industry:
- Growth in the number of smartphones and tablets in the global market.
- Growth in the number of mobile app users.
- Increasing competition between app developers and between platforms.
- Increasing the share of open source applications and the use of ready-made solutions.
- Increasing the use of mobile applications in various fields, including medicine, education, finance, etc.
Let's turn your attention to the most important indicators of the dynamics of the mobile app market and see what we have come to in 2023. Sit back and enjoy colorful infographics from ASOMobile's report.
App downloads on Google Play and the App Store.
The number of app downloads on each platform shows us growth and increased performance, but is everything so rosy? Let's pay attention to the dynamics of growth. The pandemic and the rapid digitalization of all spheres of life led to a sharp jump, and by the end of 2020, the Android-based application market showed a 6.7% increase in downloads, iOS applications ended that year with a +23.3% indicator (relative to the same indicator in 2019). By the end of 2021, Google Play posted +13.7% download growth, while iOS showed +19.9%.
But the results of 2022 turned out to be the following - application downloads increased, but there was no growth rate. Google Play Store downloads increased by just +9.7%, while App Store app downloads increased by just +7.8%.
There are several possible reasons why app download growth in the market is falling. We have identified the main ones:
- Market Saturation: with the rise of mobile applications, users are becoming more demanding, and it is becoming more difficult for them to choose between the many alternatives.
- Competition: competition in the mobile app market is intensifying, and it is becoming harder for developers to attract users to their apps. In addition, increasing user loyalty to already installed apps makes them less likely to download new applications.
- Quality Improvement: developers are increasingly focusing on the quality of their applications, including performance and usability optimizations. This can result in users updating existing apps more frequently rather than downloading new ones.
- Change in user behavior: users can change their behavior and interests, which can affect the growth rate of app downloads. The return to the post-COVID lifestyle has reduced interest in online cinemas, as it has become possible to visit the cinema offline.
- Strict platform rules: major mobile platforms such as iOS and Android have increasingly strict rules for developers, which can make it difficult to get permission to publish apps in app stores and limit marketing opportunities.
App revenue on Google Play and the App Store.
Something always remains the same; in our case, it is the dominance of iOS applications in terms of profitability. Traditionally, Android app users install more, while iOS users spend more. But it is worth talking about the dynamics of both platforms. In 2020, iOS apps showed revenue growth of +13.2%, and Android was only slightly behind by +12.9%. The following year brought a sharp jump in profit growth, almost +20% for the App Store and +17% for Google Play. And the result of 2022 was the expected slowdown in revenue growth - iOS applications have only +1.7%, and Android has completely gone into minus 0.8%.
Such trends are expected against the backdrop of a slowdown in the growth of installs. It also speaks of market saturation. The app market is getting more and more saturated, which means there are more and more competitors every day. This leads to the fact that new applications lose potential users and cannot attract high enough revenues. On the other hand, we can also judge the maturation of the market when quantity turns into quality. Crisis phenomena can make the user pickier and more demanding on the part of developers - it is worth paying attention to these trends, as they will obviously be long-term.
Quantity of new apps in 2022
After the peak of 2021, we may see a drop in the number of new applications on the market, regardless of the platform. This speaks to a general downward trend in the number of new apps being released on app stores such as the App Store and Google Play.
One possible reason for the decline in new applications could be market saturation. There are currently a huge number of apps in the app stores, and it is possible that most of the popular categories already have a sufficient number of quality apps - for example, social networking niches and video streams.
Some interesting facts about the mobile market
From 2019 to 2022, in first place in the Top 10 most popular applications in both markets, is Instagram (on Google Play, WhatsApp fell to second place after 2019). Among iOS apps, YouTube occupies the second place, and TikTok and Facebook have been actively sharing the third place all these years.
Android users after Instagram preferred first Telegram and then Snapchat.
And if we remember not only about users and their choice but also about developers, then the picture of the most profitable applications in 2022 looks like this:
Google Play boasts the profitability of the Google One app, which has quietly climbed to the top of the rankings in recent years. While moving Coin Maker and Candy Crash Saga to second and third place.
But the App Store shows stability in the rankings, where YouTube has been the leader for three years in a row, and Tinder is in second place. You can always check the rating of apps in Top Charts from ASOMobile
This still proves once again that the behavior, tastes, and preferences of the users of these two platforms are very different from each other. Don't forget to take this into account when building your app marketing strategy.
All of the above tells us that the mobile application market is slowing down, which indicates its maturity, the impact of the crisis, and macroeconomic trends. You can read more in our article about global trends. But the close connection of smartphones with our everyday life and further digitalization of all spheres of life - will allow the mobile application market to withstand the crisis storm, improve quality and attract new users. Based on these trends, it can be concluded that the mobile app market will continue to grow and develop in the coming years, but at the same time, it will become more competitive, and developers will have to pay more attention to quality and innovation in their products.