When mobile apps first became available for download in 2008, not even the most optimistic Apple executive could have guessed quite how lucrative the industry would become over the forthcoming decade. The App Store had 500 apps when it launched that year; it now has more than 2.2 million, some of which gross multimillions for their owners.
Even in a much shorter timeframe, the seemingly unstoppable growth of the apps industry is scarcely believable. In 2017, there were 197 billion app downloads worldwide. In 2021, that figure is projected to top 350 billion. If that prediction comes to pass, it would represent enormous growth for an industry that has revolutionized telecommunications.
If you can strike it big with a gaming app, you stand to make a fortune – 90% of Google Play Store revenue, and 75% for the App Store, comes from sales and downloads of games apps. The likes of Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Clash of Clans have engrossed mobile users throughout the world, generating vast revenue for their creators. Oh, and a certain game called Fortnite hasn’t done too badly for itself, either…
The success of some apps has led to money-spinning acquisitions by established tech giants. The most prominent example of this was the purchasing of Instagram by Facebook, which also owns the ubiquitous Messenger app that has largely replaced the time-honored SMS, given that your Facebook friends list is likely to far exceed your phone contacts.
Here is an infographic from ERS IT Solutions which contains a series of eye-opening statistics about the current state of the apps industry. If this is what it’s like now, imagine how much it could evolve by this time next year.