Smartphones wouldn't be very useful if we didn't have apps. They're essential to how we interact with our devices on a daily basis, and they add functionality we might not otherwise have without them. Apple understood this when they launched the App Store for iOS back in 2008, and the new store became a runaway hit with iPhone users. Apple's success started the whole "There's An App For That" revolution, and it made competing companies realize their need for robust app ecosystems if they wanted to stay competitive in the mobile technology landscape. Google understood this just as well as anyone, which led to the launch of the Android Market (now Google Play Store) in late 2008. As it stands right now, Android and iOS are pretty much the preeminent mobile platforms in the world right now, and so much of their success is directly tied to their extensive app catalogs.
All of this begs the question: how big has the mobile app industry gotten over the years? According to a recently published infographic, the answer is... pretty big, actually. The team behind the infographic, Web Track Studio, offers a very comprehensive (and illustrative) layout of numbers and statistics that cover a wide range of app-related subjects, giving us a sense of just how much the mobile app market has grown. It starts off with some general definitions about apps and how they relate to mobile devices, provides a bit of history on the early growth of the various ecosystems, gives some basic numbers on global downloads over the past seven years, and even offers some raw numbers and projections on global app revenue. Predictably, the infographic lists the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store as the two largest app ecosystems by far.
The infographic goes into even greater detail when discussing the most popular app categories, going so far as to break each category down by percentage of market reach. It wraps things up by offering a few statistics regarding user behavior, such as the numbers of times the average user picks up their phone to use it every day (85 times a day, in case you were wondering). It's definitely a fun little collection of data if you're interested in some of the finer details regarding the mobile app industry.