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Smartphone users spent $120 billion on mobile apps, as 204 billion apps were downloaded in 2019, setting a record higher than that of 2018, the annual State of Mobile report has shown.

The annual report, “State of Mobile” by App Annie disclosed that the number of mobile apps downloaded climbed 6% to hit 204 billion when compared to 2018, while it increased by 45% in comparison to 2016 downloads. Note that the report didn’t factor in re-installation of apps and app updates.

The growth of mobile apps download was significantly aided by emerging countries where tech innovations are changing consumer behaviour, resulting in a high purchasing power that led to smartphone users spending $120 billion on apps.

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Emerging markets that aided growth: According to the report, the emerging countries that boosted the growth of apps downloaded globally are India, Brazil and Indonesia. These countries growth of 190%, 40% and 70%, respectively. However, China remains king in the download rate, as the Asian country recorded 80% growth.

Surprisingly, the growth of mobile apps download slowed by 5% in the United States while  some emerging markets were pulling double % growth. Although App Annie said the slow growth doesn’t mean users are not downloading as the US recorded more than 12.3 billion downloads in 2019, Japan recorded 2.5 billion apps download, while South Korea recorded 2 billion downloads; these countries are considered matured markets.

Apps spend by users: $120 billion was spent on games and subscription apps, but games accounted for 72 per cent of the consumer spend, while subscription (non-gaming apps) accounted for 28 per cent, compared to 2016 when it accounted for 18 per cent.

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Dating apps like Tinder and video-on-demand (VOD) like Netflix and Tencent Video topped 2019’s consumer-spend charts due to its subscription revenue.

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With $120 billion spent on the apps, matured markets like the US, United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea fueled the growth in apps purchase, but China again, top the consumer spend, accounting for 40% of the $120 billion. Note that an average of 3.7 hours is spent on apps by users.

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