Statistics released by top app analytic firm, Sensor Tower, revealed that the third quarter of 2020 saw worldwide app installations for both Google Play Store and the App Store reach 36.5 billion apps. This number means a 23.3% surge from the 29.6 million installations that happened in the third quarter of 2019.
In a series of statistics that the firm churned out, it reported that worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps reached the $29.3 billion mark, a 32% increase from the $22.2 billion that was spent by consumers in the third quarter of 2019.
The figures show just how much the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures declared by various governments around the world affected consumers’ spending and app downloads.
The App Store has continued to see a steady year-on-year increase. Consumers on the iOS platform spent $19 billion on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps in the third quarter. This represents a 31% increase from the $14.5 billion its users spent in the same period last year.
Google, which seems to be having a running battle with app developers in India, clinched an even significant growth figure. Payments and subscriptions on its Google Play Store rose by 33.8%. Payments increased from $7.7 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to $10.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
These statistics mean that there is an even amount of spending between the two ecosystems. Android owns about 85% of the smartphone market, yet iOS users have usually eclipsed Android users yearly for in-app purchases. When you place the figures side-by-side for the App Store and Google Play Store for the third quarter of 2020, iOS users grossed nearly twice as much as Android users. This figure is consistent with last year’s split between the two ecosystems.
Google says the transaction fee for all purchases in Google Play Store (apps and in-app purchases) is 30% of the price customers pay. This policy has caused a rift between the tech giant and Indian developers. Globally, the fees will be coming to effect next year. However, an informal coalition of Indian developers against Google’s policy may have forced the hands of the tech giant. Google recently announced to defer the enforcement of the 30% commission policy on in-app purchases to April 2022.
Google’s policy may be driven by the need to stop apps on its platform from bypassing its payment system. Despite the uproar by Indian developers, Google may see through to the policy, which will allow it to benefit from a market in which it has the largest users but generates little revenue.
Sense Tower also released top grossing apps for the Q3 2020. TikTok leads for the consecutive quarter across the iOS and Android platforms. It was also the top-grossing non-gaming app. It is one app that really made a difference among users, most especially teens during the pandemic.
The top-grossing app for Google Play Store was Google One. It is a Google service app that allows users to manage their storage.
Mobile game revenue globally increased by 26.7% to reach $20.9 billion. The App Store took a chunk of the revenue – 59% or $12.4 billion. Games from Google Play Store generated $8.5 billion or a 30.8% increase.
The top-grossing games on both platforms include Honor of Kings, PUBG Mobile, Pokemon GO, Roblox, and Coin Master.