US iPhone users spent an average of $138 on the App Store in 2020

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in iPhone
U.S. iPhone users spent an average of $138 on apps in 2020, an increase of 38% year-over-year, and that figure is poised to increase in 2021.

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash
Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash


Per-user spending on Apple's App Store saw the greatest annual growth in 2020 since 2016, when it hit 42% year-over-year, according to a Sensor Tower report. Overall, smartphone users spent a combined $111 billion on iOS and Android apps during the year, the firm said.

The surge in 2020 was attributed to stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, which drove remote work, play, and education. Sensor Tower also projects that consumer app spending will hit an average of $180 in 2021. Again, it attributes the lift to the global health crisis.

As far as specific categories that saw the highest boost, gaming took the top spot. Per-device spend on mobile games grew 43% in 2020 compared to 2019. Consumers spent an average of $76.80, up from $53.80.

Other categories that saw exceptional growth during 2020 included entertainment, photo & video, social networking, and lifestyle. Some of those increases were because of apps like TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch.

The Sensor Tower report on Thursday comes on the heels of similar data from App Annie. That report showed app spending growth of 40% and a higher overall spending amount, though it included data from some third-party Android app stores in China.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,957member
  • Reply 2 of 5
    yensid98yensid98 Posts: 307member
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 5
    yensid98 said:
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!
    Overwhelmingly, iOS users spend money on games... especially IAP laden games like Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.  The amount iOS users spend on games more than doubles the amount spent on the next 4 categories combined.  Games is over 7x the next largest category, Entertainment (movie, tv, music).  Generally speaking iOS users happily accept being nickle-and-dimed with IAP much more so than any other form of commerce on the App Store.  As with most things, our forum mentality of "IAP" sucks (it does) doesn't really carry over into the real world.    Would have been cool if AI included the graphs since they're a bit more illuminating.
    us iphone category revenue per device 2020
    us iphone revenue per device 2015 to 2020

    I always get a little chuckle from people's personal anecdotes like "I don't spend on the apps store" or "Nobody I know spends on the app store".  The App Store generates 10's of billions of dollars per year (est 6.4 of them in 2020) so someone is obviously spending money on the App Store.  
    edited April 2 muthuk_vanalingambaconstang
  • Reply 4 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,957member
    yensid98 said:
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!

    You really think 90% of apps asking to be purchased or having IAP are for nothing?

    App Store is one of the greatest inventions in human history when it comes to economy.

    yensid98 said:
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!
    Overwhelmingly, iOS users spend money on games... especially IAP laden games like Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.  The amount iOS users spend on games more than doubles the amount spent on the next 4 categories combined.  Games is over 7x the next largest category, Entertainment (movie, tv, music).  Generally speaking iOS users happily accept being nickle-and-dimed with IAP much more so than any other form of commerce on the App Store.  As with most things, our forum mentality of "IAP" sucks (it does) doesn't really carry over into the real world.    Would have been cool if AI included the graphs since they're a bit more illuminating.
    us iphone category revenue per device 2020
    us iphone revenue per device 2015 to 2020

    I always get a little chuckle from people's personal anecdotes like "I don't spend on the apps store" or "Nobody I know spends on the app store".  The App Store generates 10's of billions of dollars per year (est 6.4 of them in 2020) so someone is obviously spending money on the App Store.  



    I like how you sneakily dissed Apple users by claiming they like to be nickel and dimed more than other commerce stores. More like they actually have money compared to cheap iKnockoff users who also have a pirating fetish. 

    baconstang
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Beats said:
    yensid98 said:
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!

    You really think 90% of apps asking to be purchased or having IAP are for nothing?

    App Store is one of the greatest inventions in human history when it comes to economy.

    yensid98 said:
    This has to include things like movie, tv and music purchases right? If not, I have zero idea how people are spending this much. I haven't bought or spent money on an iPhone app in about 6 years. None of my friends or family spend on the App Store either. I can't imagine what people have spent $138 on in 2020. Wow! Just crazy!
    Overwhelmingly, iOS users spend money on games... especially IAP laden games like Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.  The amount iOS users spend on games more than doubles the amount spent on the next 4 categories combined.  Games is over 7x the next largest category, Entertainment (movie, tv, music).  Generally speaking iOS users happily accept being nickle-and-dimed with IAP much more so than any other form of commerce on the App Store.  As with most things, our forum mentality of "IAP" sucks (it does) doesn't really carry over into the real world.    Would have been cool if AI included the graphs since they're a bit more illuminating.
    us iphone category revenue per device 2020
    us iphone revenue per device 2015 to 2020

    I always get a little chuckle from people's personal anecdotes like "I don't spend on the apps store" or "Nobody I know spends on the app store".  The App Store generates 10's of billions of dollars per year (est 6.4 of them in 2020) so someone is obviously spending money on the App Store.  



    I like how you sneakily dissed Apple users by claiming they like to be nickel and dimed more than other commerce stores. More like they actually have money compared to cheap iKnockoff users who also have a pirating fetish. 

    I didn't sneakily do anything.  I stated simple and plain fact.  Fact that has been around since the advent of the App Store.  People prefer being nickle-and-dimed (IAP) vs any other form of commerce on the App Store.  That has nothing to do with how much money they have.  It's about how they like to spend money in the App Store.  I notice you didn't refute anything in my post.  Instead you did what you always do: banal derogatory posting to deflect from the topic.  Here's hoping one day you'll decide to contribute something of substance. 

    Btw, I said iOS users prefer IAP over any other form of commerce (payment) on the App Store.  There's no comparative to any other stores. That's your paranoid hyper-defensiveness  regarding Apple overruling common sense.  That comment is about how people prefer to do business on the App Store. Periodt.  You'd know that if you spent more time comprehending what you read instead of trying to defend against imaginary slights against Apple.
    edited April 3 muthuk_vanalingam
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