11 May 2018

Consumers will spend more than US$155 billion on apps by 2022

Source: App Annie. App Annie forecasts how app trends will evolve through to 2022.
Source: App Annie. App Annie forecasts how app trends will evolve through to 2022. Figures are in US dollars.

Global consumer spend on apps is poised to grow to US$156.5 billion by 2022, up 92% from 2017, according to a new report released by App Annie, the mobile app market data and insights company.

The App Annie Forecast 2017-2022 sheds light on key macro and micro trends set to shape the app economy for the next few years. Global first-time download numbers are set to grow by 45% from 2017 to 2022, to hit 258.2 billion. And as smartphone penetration continues to grow in emerging markets, the installed base of smartphones and tablets is also set to grow from 3.9 billion at the end of 2017 to 6.1 billion in 2022.

Other highlights from the report include:

·         The top five markets in 2022 by spend include China in No. 1 place. Japan is ranked 3rd and South Korea, 4th.

·         The top two global markets in 2022 by downloads are China as the leader, followed by India.

·         Average spend per consumer reached US$20.94 in 2017 and is forecast to rise to US$25.65 in 2022, driven by a combination of:

- Consumers in mature markets growing quickly, and exponentially increasing their spend

- The installed base of mobile devices expanding 56% to reach 6.1 billion, bringing 2 billion more mobile devices into the global install base, primarily from emerging markets with lower purchasing power

The report introduces an updated app maturity model to highlight the three phases of app market maturity, namely experimentation, expansion and maturation.


Consists of early emerging markets including India, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand


Taiwan, Singapore and most Western European countries


Countries such as Japan, US, South Korea, Tier 1 and 2 cities of China

Consumer spend will more than double from 2017 to reach US$62.4 billion. China is and will continue to be the largest market for apps in both downloads and app store spend. Annual per user spend in Japan will exceed US$140 by 2022 – this is nearly 6x the global average and by far the highest in the world. India became the 2nd largest market in downloads in 2017 and is expected to retain the 2nd spot through 2022 with downloads more than tripling to US$37.2 billion.

Spend on non-gaming apps is forecast to grow even faster than games, reaching US$43 billion (or 27.5%) of app store spend in 2022, as music, video, dating and other categories see continued gains via apps.

The report is based on data from App Annie intelligence, public macro and market data, and the company’s proprietary forecast mode.