US iPhone owners spent average of $35 on apps in 2015, mostly on games

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
An average of $35 per active iPhone was spent on apps and in-app purchases in the U.S. in 2015, with most of the money going towards mobile games, according to a new market research report.




There were about 110 million active iPhones in the U.S. last year, said app marketing firm Sensor Tower, citing data from sources like Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. That figure was compared against Sensor Tower's own estimates for iPhone app downloads and revenue, since Apple rarely breaks out specific figures for the App Store.

Within the $35 tally, the lion's share of that -- $25 -- was spent on games. Although games are a consistently popular category at the App Store, that figure may have been inflated by so-called "free-to-play" games like Game of War and Clash Royale, which often force players to make in-app purchases to achieve real progress.

The next most popular category was music at just $3.40. Social networking, entertainment, and "lifestyle" apps attained averages of $1.80, $1, and 40 cents per iPhone, respectively, while the remaining $6.80 was split between 18 other categories.

An average of 10.5 games were installed per device, easily beating out the 3.4 from the next closest install category: photo and video. Social networking, entertainment, and lifestyle apps rounded out the top five.

Sensor Tower's study was notably narrow in scope, as it excluded iPad apps.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    croprcropr Posts: 882member
    sog35 said:
    Time for Apple to get into the ad business.  That is where the real money is made
    By stopping iAd, Apple has left the ad business.  A 30% margin on apps and in app purchases without spending a lot of effort and cost, must be  much more profitable 
    pmzsingularityjony0
  • Reply 2 of 11
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    It would be nice to see the breakdown not as an average of ALL iPhone users, rather a breakdown of how many users spent X amount of money on X number of apps.

    It appears there are a few whales who spend the lions share of the money made on in-app purchases on a relatively few number of games in the App Store.

    To say that "the average" iPhone user spends $35 per year seems to be a bit disingenuous when one person might spend $10,000 on Candy Crush or Clash of Clans just because they can.

    No doubt there is plenty of money flying around the App Store but this kind of data seems to be not relevant.

    EDIT: Can we make this a bit of a survey? I don't think I have spent $35 on apps, music, etc. since I bought the first iPhone. What are you folks spending?
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 3 of 11
    sog35 said:
    Time for Apple to get into the ad business.  That is where the real money is made
    chief strategy officer speaks
    singularity
  • Reply 4 of 11
    pigybankpigybank Posts: 151member
    I spend wayyyyy more than that. Oops. 
  • Reply 5 of 11
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member

    I'd say probably 5% spend half the money, 20% spend a third and the remaining
    75% spend 15%  (The same people who buy those 16G phones some on tech site find so useless). This would skew the total for the rest.

    On Android it's probably even more skewed, like 5% spending 3/4 of all money and 15% spending the rest.

  • Reply 6 of 11
    techlover said:

    EDIT: Can we make this a bit of a survey? I don't think I have spent $35 on apps, music, etc. since I bought the first iPhone. What are you folks spending?

    I took a quick look at my 2015 purchases (this includes my and my wife):

    Books 3.99 Games (COC) 44.96 Movie Rentals 8.98 Music 19.54 Other Apps 16.96 Ringtones 2.58 Grand Total 97.01


  • Reply 7 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,083member
    On a one-person level, I would guess I spend about $50-60 a year on iOS apps, almost all of that is for apps, not IAPs. I have bought a few small IAPs when on sale, but otherwise never bother -- and mostly avoid apps that use IAPs. Just charge me outright for the app, no ads. If the app is great, I'll pay the price. I don't like the nickel-and-diming thing that's in vogue right now.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Compare $35 spent on apps to $750 spent on a new iPhone. No wonder most app developers cannot live off app sales.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    xbitxbit Posts: 224member
    I've spent around $65 in the past year and that's probably my lowest total ever. I usually buy the more expensive apps and games (i.e. those optimised for iPad rather than iPhone) when I go on holiday. The most I've ever spent on an app is $14 on The Elements and the most I've spent on a game is $20 on XCOM. Both well worth the money.

    Apple gets way more out of me than third party developers do - Apple Music, iTunes Match, premium iCloud storage...
  • Reply 10 of 11
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    cropr said:
    sog35 said:
    Time for Apple to get into the ad business.  That is where the real money is made
    By stopping iAd, Apple has left the ad business.  A 30% margin on apps and in app purchases without spending a lot of effort and cost, must be  much more profitable 
    Apparently that seems to have missed the uber sharp business mind of his.
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