App Annie: Users downloaded 230B apps in 2021, spent 3.8T hours using them

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A report from App Annie highlights the staggering growth the mobile app ecosystem witnessed last year.

According to the analytics firm’s State of Mobile 2022 report, users downloaded around 230 billion apps in 2021.

Theodore Krantz, Chief Executive Officer of App Annie, said:

“The big screen is slowly dying as mobile continues to break records in virtually every category – time spent, downloads and revenue.”

Chinese users downloaded the most apps (98.4B), followed by users in India (26.6B), and the US (12.2B) to round out the top three.

The number of downloads doesn’t translate directly into consumer spending. China did come out on top with $56.8 billion, but the country was followed by the US ($44B) and then Japan ($20.7B).

Every minute, over $320,000 flowed through the app stores in 2021—an increase of nearly 20 percent from the previous record in 2020.

Smartphone users also spent longer than ever on mobile apps in 2021.

The total length of time users spent on mobile apps reached 3.8 trillion in 2021, a 30 percent increase over two years. In the leading 10 markets, consumers spent an average of 4.8 hours per day on mobile.

Users spent the most time on social and communications apps, followed by photo and video. Seven of every 10 minutes was spent on either social, photo, and/or video apps—driven predominantly by the growth of TikTok.

Gaming represented around 10 percent of total time spent but accounted for the most spending (68%) in mobile apps.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a tech article from the past couple of years without mentioning the metaverse. App Annie says that metaverse interest has “catapulted” leading avatar apps forward with 160 percent year-over-year growth.

“Mobile brings us closer together whether virtual or in person,” added Krantz. “The future will be based on an immersive entertainment experience you create. You won’t watch movies, you’ll star in them.”

Here’s an overview of some of the key statistics in the latest State of Mobile report:

With more people continuing the trend set in 2020 of spending longer at home for work and leisure, it’s no surprise that app usage has skyrocketed. Apps have helped folks to connect, collaborate, and catch a break from the chaos of the past couple of years.

As the pandemic hopefully enters its final stages, it will be interesting to see whether the pace of growth over the past couple of years continues into 2022.

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

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