Knowledge Base

10 Years Of The iOS App Store

10 Years Of The iOS App Store:
The iOS App Store is now 10 years old and App Annie, which tracks data on the App Store, has released a retrospective report summarizing some of the key milestones and top apps of all time. Some of the big picture trends are mind blowing. For example, there are now 2.2m apps available on the App Store with over 170 billion total downloads. Consumers have spent more than $130bn on apps since July 2010 (when App Annie started tracking this data) and over 10,000 apps have generated more than $1m in revenues on the App Store. The average user now uses 40 different apps each month and spends 3 hours per day inside these apps.

In the early days of the App Store, social media and communication apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and WhatsApp ruled the download charts. The release of new apps such as Instagram saw it rise to become the most downloaded app in 2012. Dating apps Badoo and Zoosk also became a huge trend in 2012 and they quickly inspired more dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Lovoo in this very lucrative category. Snapchat started its global rise in 2013 reaching the top 10 downloads since its 2011 release. Facebook Messenger was unbundled from Facebook in 2014 and overnight became a top 10 downloaded app. Apple Pay was also introduced in 2014 and helped invigorate the mobile payment industry. Streaming apps such as Spotify, Hulu, Pandora and HBO NOW all became top 10 consumer spend apps in 2015.

Apple’s decision to revamp the App Store subscription model in September 2016 helped consumer spend grow 50% year on year from 2016 to 2017. China also overtook the USA to be the largest download market in 2015 and the largest consumer spend market in 2016. China dominated the App Store in 2017 with nearly half of the top apps owned by Chinese firms. Netflix remained the top app by consumer spend in 2018 helped by its continued global expansion.


Key Highlights Over 10 Years Of The iOS App Store:

  • The iOS App Store generates almost twice as much consumer spend as the Google Play store despite a far lower device installation base

App Store vs Google Play Store Consumer Spend.jpg

  • The Asia Pacific (APAC) region spends the most of any geographical region on apps accounting for almost 60% of App Store consumer spend

APAC Geography Spend Is Highest In The World.jpg

  • Consumers are spending most of their App Store spend on games which account for 31% of downloads but 75% of spend

Games Account for 75% of App Store Spend.jpg

  • The USA is the largest market by all time App Store downloads and consumer spend but China is quickly catching up

USA Is Largest Market By All Time App Store Spend & Downloads.jpg

  • More apps than ever are generating millions of dollars on the App Store worldwide

Apps Generating OVer $1m Consumer Spend.jpg

  • Consumer spend on the App Store is predicted to continue to grow rapidly reaching $75.7bn in 2022 (up 80% from 2017)

2022 Expected Consumer Spend on App Store.jpg

Source: App Annie – The Data Behind 10 Years of the iOS App Store


The Top 10 Apps vs Games Of All Time:

  • The Top Games worldwide by all time downloads differs from consumer spend in that games made by APAC based developers rank higher in consumer spend

Top Games by Downloads.jpg


Top Games by Consumer Spend.jpg


  • The Top Apps worldwide by all time downloads are dominated by the USA based developers but more APAC based developers are ranker higher in total consumer spend

Top Apps by Downloads.jpg


Top Apps by Consumer Spend.jpg

Source: App Annie – The Data Behind 10 Years of the iOS App Store


Personal Opinion:
The App Store has had a massive impact on the tech world and the life of consumers worldwide. It is almost mind boggling how big the app economy has become and how it has not only impacted the tech industry but also consumers worldwide and many non-tech businesses. It is clear that there will continue to be a huge amount of money to be made in apps. Many western tech companies will enviously view the higher consumer spend in APAC and realise that if Western consumers start spending as much as their Asia Pacific counterparts, then total app spending will grow far beyond what data analytics firms like App Annie predict for 2022. Whatever happens in the next 4-5 years, it is clear that the mobile experience will become more app-centric and consumer spending will rise in in-app payments.


Feedback From The giffgaff Community:
Are you surprised by any of the data from the first ten years of the iOS App Store? Which apps do you make in-app purchases on? Do you spend more on apps for games, entertainment, productivity or other uses?


Thanks for reading!
Jeff Elephant


Jeff Avatar - Nov 2016.jpg Jeff loves tech, wine, exercise and travel. He posts every Friday morning.

What are you waiting for?

Order your free SIM See our SIM-only deals

They must be making so much money...


Good luck 


This is very interesting

well done Jeff_elephant


That’s good 


Wooow! Sounds impressive! Good luck with the chabges though lol


You carried a lengthy topic very briefly and in a aimple way Smiley Happy