Bottom line: People keep adopting mobile apps and spending more money on in-app purchases than ever. Apple's App Store still dominates in terms of overall revenue, while the Google Play Store remains king when it comes to volume of app downloads.
Worldwide consumer spending in mobile apps continues to grow, and the latest SensorTower report reveals people have made 36.5 billion installs that generated $29.3 billion across Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. Compared to the same period last year, that's 23 percent more installs and 32 percent more revenue generated mostly as a result of a quick adoption of digital services.
Both app stores saw significant growth, but the App Store still generated almost twice the revenue of Google's Play Store, while the latter saw the biggest absolute gain in terms of app installs. This is despite the fact that Android holds 74.5 percent of the worldwide market share while iOS holds the remaining 25 percent.
Mobile game spending has been the biggest driver of revenue growth for both stores in the second quarter, and that trend continued in the third quarter with a 26.7 percent increase to $20.9 billion. More than half of this revenue came from iOS users, who spent a total of $12.4 billion on in-game purchases.
TikTok continues to be the most downloaded app on both stores, and was the top-grossing non-game app in the third quarter, followed by streaming apps like YouTube and Disney+, as well as dating apps like Tinder. TikTok is currently banned in India -- previously one of its fastest-growing markets -- and is also facing an uncertain future in the US as it struggles to appease the Trump administration.
SensorTower analysts believe that the fourth quarter will see new trends emerge as some of the apps that have seen a surge in adoption as a result of the pandemic will become essential to many people, with notable examples being mobile laundry, grocery, and meditation apps.