The App Store: An App-date

Mark Stephens

What’s going on in the App Store? With many developers and gamers still seeing the App Store as their guiding beacon, it’s sometimes useful to kick back and see what’s happening over there. What’s changing and what are the main trends? Is gaming sizzling hot or fizzling out? We'll call it an ‘app-date’ if you like; an ‘update’ if you don’t like!


Pocketgamer always has its fingers on the pulse of the App Store and even has a dedicated App Store Metrics section on its website, where it lifts all the meaty details that iTunes releases and publishes and makes sense of them.

This is great for giving us a quick overview of the present situation and the overall trends.

Here are a few observations from the Pocketgamer stats and elsewhere.

Total app numbers are through the roof

• In figures released recently, Apple reported that almost 3 billion apps were downloaded by iOS users in December 2013, with $1 billion spent.
• That’s roughly one app for every 2.5 people in the world.
• The number of active apps (currently available for download) is over 750,000
• The cumulative downloads number is 75 billion according to Statista – or 10 per person on the planet. How many of these are ‘active’ is another question.

Apple retains over 60 percent market share

Distimo reported recently that Apple’s market share as of April 2014 was 61 percent, compared to 39 percent for Google Play – slightly down since the end of last year but dominant nonetheless. Apple reports that 300 million people visit their marketplace every week.

In the blog post Distimo also reports that the App Store increased its revenue by over 27 percent in the same time span, while Google Play showed a gain in revenue of around 38 percent.

Games are still ruling the roost

• In Autumn 2008 there were just 10,000 apps available in the App store
• Now over 1.2 million apps are on sale from over 240,000 publishers
• Every day there are over 140 app submissions on average – around 55 of them games
• ‘Games’ is by far the biggest category with over 150,000 active apps
• This is almost 20 percent of the total active apps
• 5 years ago there were around 50,000 visible game apps on the store; in May 2014 there were almost 220,000.
• This is almost as many as the next two categories combined education and business)

What’s the average price of a game?

With freemium becoming ever more popular it may not surprise you that the average price of a game on the App store is just $0.69. This is against the average overall app price of $1.20.

Clearly the App Store remains hot and games are its hottest property. When you bear in mind that these figures only relate to the App store and ignore Google Play, the size of the mobile and gaming space seems even more staggering.