The global mobile application market size was valued at USD 154.05 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% from 2020 to 2027. The scope of study comprises mobile gaming applications, mobile music and entertainment applications, mobile health and fitness applications, mobile social networking applications, mobile retail and e-commerce applications, and other mobile applications. The demand for mobile applications is expected to grow in the forthcoming years, primarily due to the smartphone proliferation, increased internet penetration, and growing use of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence in mobile applications (apps). In addition, the aforementioned mobile applications are mostly downloaded from application distribution platforms such as App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store.
The unprecedented rise in Internet penetration and resulting data usage, especially in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil is the major factor driving market growth. Over the past decade, the Internet has emerged as the primary medium of communication via several devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, among others. Over the past few years, there has been an upsurge in the number of mobile application buyers owing to growth in the e-commerce industry, product assortment, and various discounts and offers that are available only on e-platforms. The availability of low-cost data plans from telecom operators, which reduces the cost of mobile internet and attracts more number of users online is another factor accelerating mobile application downloads across all platforms.
The increased internet penetration and gaming technology have continued to improve, resulting in more accessibility to mobile games. Games such as Pokémon Go use sensors such as motion sensors, gyroscope, and accelerometers in tablets and smartphones to ensure the capability of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) on the mobile phone through various apps. Moreover, primarily there are three revenue models, including paid game applications, in-game purchases, and in-app advertisements that mobile games and application developers follow.
With the growing popularity of mobile gaming, a survey study highlights that around 5 to 10% of gamers are willing to pay for game applications, which is a double-digit increase from 2018. Furthermore, it is a proven fact that once users approve the value of an application and have an urge to unlock extended functionalities, they tend to perform more in-app purchases. Games like Pokémon GO, Candy Crush Saga, and Clash of Clans are some mobile gaming applications that earn more through in-app purchases than any other revenue channel.
In the wake of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the social media-, gaming-, and entertainment-based applications had the highest number of downloads compared to other applications. Furthermore, the demand for e-commerce, healthcare, and educational applications has also witnessed strong growth. In educational apps, the shift to remote learning has provided lucrative growth opportunities to several online portals and tech companies such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Store Type Insights
The Apple store segment led the market and accounted for more than 60% of the global revenue share in 2019. The high share of the segment is primarily attributable to the relatively greater monetization rate of iOS apps for revenue gained from premium apps and in-app purchases. Also, an increase in iPhone and iPad users worldwide is further contributing to the segment growth. Moreover, mobile game spending accounted for a huge revenue share in 2019.
Moreover, in terms of the number of downloads, the Google Play store segment accounted for the highest share in 2019 and is anticipated to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Also, there has been a massive growth in Android smartphone sales over the past few years, with many new competitors such as OnePlus and Xiaomi Corp. challenging the existing and leading players such as Samsung and iPhone. The emergence of new Android smartphone manufacturers has led to the introduction of a wide range of mobile applications on Google’s Play Store. The introduction of a wide range of mobile applications, coupled with a huge consumer base ensures a strong growth prospect for Google Play store over the forecast period.
The gaming application segment of the mobile application market held the largest revenue share of more than 40% in 2019. Furthermore, the segment is anticipated to continue its dominance over the forecast period due to an unprecedented rise expected in the gaming population and resultantly the number of mobile gaming applications in economies such as China and India. Furthermore, there are three primary Operating System (OS) platforms on which mobile games are developed, namely Android, iOS, and Windows. In 2019, Android OS accounted for a significant volume of game downloads, while iOS generated higher revenue due to the paid nature of games.
The music and entertainment application segment is projected to exhibit a significant CAGR of around 12% from 2020 to 2027. The segment includes mobile music and entertainment applications such as Netflix, HBO NOW, Tinder, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Hulu among others. In the U.S., Netflix generated the highest revenue in the music and entertainment application segment, followed by YouTube in 2018. There has been a massive increase in the usage of music and entertainment apps on account of the growing popularity of streaming services. Live streaming apps such as Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram enable users to broadcast live videos to a broader audience as well as engage them on daily basis.
North America dominated the market and accounted for over 30% of the revenue share in 2019. The high share is attributed to the presence of numerous players in the region, such as Apple Inc.; Google LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Netflix Inc.; and Microsoft Corporation. Strong in-app consumer spending, high smartphone penetration, and a relatively greater number of mobile application downloads have collectively ensured a high market share. The U.S. is expected to emerge as a lucrative market for mobile games application in terms of in-app payment, paid mobile games, and rapidly increasing user base of mobile apps in the country.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest growing regional market given the potential the region holds in terms of internet penetration and smartphone adoption. India and China are anticipated to remain the major markets, offering strong growth opportunities to all participants across the mobile application ecosystem. Furthermore, growing disposable income coupled with government initiatives such as Digital India is expected to favorably impact regional market growth in the forthcoming years. Moreover, the availability of low-cost mobile data usage packs and advancement in networking are other key growth boosters in regional growth.
Key Companies & Market Share Insights
The market is highly fragmented with the presence of a large number of developers. Some market players are engaged in acquisitions and partnerships to expand their capabilities. For instance, in November 2018, GOQii announced that the company has raised funding from Mitsui & Co., Ltd., which is a Japanese conglomerate and an active healthcare investor. Following the initiative, GOQii aimed at increased penetration across India, as well as to enter into Japan’s market for providing its offerings via its health store. Some of the prominent players in the mobile application market include:
Mobile Application Market Report Scope
Market size value in 2020
USD 170.52 billion
Revenue forecast in 2027
USD 366.34 billion
CAGR of 11.5% from 2020 to 2027
Base year for estimation
2016 – 2018
2020 – 2027
Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Store type, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa
The U.S.; Canada; The U.K.; Germany; France; Russia; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Singapore; Brazil; Mexico
Key companies profiled
Apple Inc.; Google LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Amazon Inc.; Gameloft SE
Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global mobile application market report based on the store type, application, and region:
Store Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 – 2027)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 – 2027)
Music & Entertainment
Health & Fitness
Retail & e-commerce
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 – 2027)
The Middle East & Africa
Frequently Asked Questions About This Report
b. The global mobile application market size was estimated at USD 154.05 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 170.52 billion in 2020.
b. The global mobile application market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.5% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 366.34 billion by 2027.
b. North America dominated the mobile application market with a share of 31.82% in 2019. This is attributable to the presence of numerous players in the region, such as Apple Inc., Google LLC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Netflix Inc., and Microsoft Corporation, among others. Also, strong in-app consumer spending, high smartphone penetration, and a relatively greater number of mobile application downloads have collectively ensured a high market share of the region.
b. Some key players operating in the mobile application market include Apple Inc., Google LLC, Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Inc., Gameloft SE.
b. Key factors that are driving the mobile application market growth include smartphone proliferation, increased internet penetration, and growing use of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence in mobile apps.
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