Google Play and iOS app downloads grew more than 10 percent year-over-year to reach 27.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to a report from market data firm App Annie.
This marks the highest-ever quarter for app downloads, breaking the previous record of nearly 27 billion set in the fourth quarter of 2017.
By platform, Google Play downloads exceeded 19.2 billion, while iOS downloads surpassed 8.2 billion, respectively.
As well, App Annie reports that global Google Play and iOS combined consumer spend grew 22 percent year-over-year to $18.4 billion USD (approximately $23.3 billion CAD). This figure is also record-setting, according to App Annie, as the previous high was $17 billion worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Additionally, App Annie says the worldwide consumer spend gap between Google Play and iOS narrowed in the first quarter of 2018 10 percentage points quarter-over-quarter. According to the firm, this accounts for the smallest percentage difference since the first quarter of 2016.
Consumer spend on Google Play grew 25 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, while iOS demonstrated a growth of 20 percent year-over-year. That said, spending on the iOS App Store continued to be higher than spending on Google Play.
Specifically, App Annie says the ‘Music & Audio’ and ‘Entertainment’ categories of apps experienced the largest market share growth of global consumer spend on Google Play, both in terms of quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.
iOS users, meanwhile, spent the most on Health and Fitness apps during this quarter, in particular marking a significant quarter-over-quarter growth.
App Annie notes that all of these numbers could be higher when considering other factors. For example, the firm states that its downloads figures only reflect initial app installs, not re-installs or updates.
Consumer spend, meanwhile, only includes money generated on Google Play and iOS through paid apps, in-app purchases or in-app subscriptions. However, revenue earned in the app economy is much larger, coming from third-party stores, in-app advertising and commerce like shopping or ride-sharing.