Mobile Minute

Mobile Minute: WWDC & Apple’s iOS Upgrades Focus on Expanding Influence of Mobile

Lexi Sydow

iOS App Store Surpassed Record $14 Billion in Consumer Spend in Q1 2019 — Year-Over-Year Growth Emphasizes Growing Influence of Mobile in Consumers’ Daily Lives.

Yesterday, Apple hosted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) during which the company unveiled macOS Catalina, iPadOS and WatchOS’s own app store highlighting increasing focus on personalization and streamlined services.

Apple focused on improving its internal apps, and the iOS app store remained a key focus and major revenue stream for the company as consumer spend has skyrocketed and expanded into more markets — highlighting how mobile is continuing to infiltrate and define everyday life. 

The Data Behind the Accelerated Growth in Apple’s iOS App Store

In Q1 2019, the iOS App Store had its biggest quarter to date surpassing $14 billion and experiencing 20% year-over-year growth in worldwide consumer spend. This also provided a competitive 80% lead in global consumer spend against Google Play.

Taking a closer look at iOS consumer spend in Q1 2019, top categories saw significant growth in market share, a measure of category growth relative to the overall market. For instance, over $1 billion was spent globally in Entertainment apps during the quarter, ranking #1 for year-over-year growth in market share. Other emerging categories included Education (growing 40% year over year) and Productivity (growing 35% year over year) to nearly reach a combined $500 million in worldwide consumer spend.

Maintaining Staying Power in Age of Consolidation and Increasing Competition

Apple’s WWDC announcements show the company is consciously making your most personal device, more personal and streamlined. Updates to iOS 13 — including intelligent organization and deduplication of your Photos, user profiles for Apple TV with customized recommendations lists, and more advanced Siri Shortcuts — the creation of iPadOS and a new Apple Watch App Store are all centered around increased curation and more intelligent action-oriented prompts designed to streamline mobile experiences.

Additionally, Apple’s unbundling of services from iTunes to focus on individual apps including Apple TV, Podcasts and Apple Music highlights the company’s reaction to a larger unbundling industry trend, consumer demand for more streamlined services and cultural shift toward in-app subscription models for non-gaming apps over one-off in-app purchases. In fact, worldwide consumer spend in non-gaming iOS apps has more than doubled from Q1 2017 to Q1 2019. In Q1 2019, this represents nearly 35% of total iOS consumer spend, up from representing nearly 25% of total iOS spend two years prior.  

Worldwide app store consumer spend across iOS, Google Play and third party Android stores is on track this year to grow 5x as fast as the overall global economy with mobile continuing to take over consumers’ mindshare and fuel corporate priorities. As more value migrates toward mobile and consumers are spending more in-app, delivering more personalized, relevant and curated mobile experiences is critical for maintaining growth.

For more on the state of mobile in 2019, check out our latest report:

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June 4, 2019

Mobile Minute

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