Mobile app industry will almost double in value over the course of the next half a decade, according to the latest forecast from market research firm App Annie. By 2022, consumers will spend $157 billion on apps annually, or 92-percent more than they currently do, the company says. While the average per-user revenue is expected to grow some 23-percent compared to 2017 and hit $26 yearly, the trend is expected to primarily be fueled by stronger global smartphone and tablet adoption, with the mobile device install base being expected to hit 6 billion, a 56-percent increase over the observed period. Likewise, five years from now, mobile users will be downloading 258 billion apps annually, or 45-percent more than they currently do, as per the same report.
App Annie’s forecast is indicative of the growingly mature state of the mobile app market which already saw hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet owners experiment with various services for years before identifying the tools that they find the most useful and are willing to pay money for. While China is expected to remain the world’s largest app market by downloads and grow by some 51-percent to 119.5 billion installs over the next five years, India is said to be the one that will expand the most, moving from 12.1 billion downloads in 2017 to 37.2 billion in 2022, thus growing by some 208-percent.
Whereas India is still seen as a developing market, Chinese app industry will start maturing in the coming years and hence see revenue more than double over the forecast period, App Annie says, predicting China’s app sales to hit $62.4 billion annually by 2022. While the proportion of games in total app downloads is expected to drop from some 78.8-percent in 2017 to 72.5-percent in 2022, gaming is expected to continue being almost equally lucrative and still account for roughly a third of all app revenues half a decade from now, the study suggests. App Annie says that while the increasingly mature state of the industry means user acquisition is becoming harder due to saturation, developers can expect better returns on investments in the future seeing how the average mobile user will be spending more money on apps. As for emerging markets such as India, business models relying on large user bases like advertising will still be the safest strategy seeing how consumers in those territories won’t be as willing to spend money on iOS and Android apps directly for the foreseeable future, the research firm believes.