The global app economy will be worth a huge $6.3 trillion in 2021 – up from just $1.3 trillion last year – and if that were a country it would have an economy which would be the third-largest on Earth. Growth will be driven primarily by a user base that will nearly double as well as increased time spent in apps, according to App Annie metrics.
The app user base is set to almost double from 3.4 billion people in 2016 to 6.3 billion in 2021, and time spent in apps will grow even faster, from 1.6 trillion hours last year to 3.5 trillion in 2021.
App Annie expects the majority of developed western economies to lag behind many Asia-Pacific countries in apps activity, consumer spend and ad spend on mobile.
“Western economies are somewhat constrained by legacy systems such as banking, payment transfers, food purchases and an overconcentration of wealth among their older customer base,” explains the app outfit. “Developing economies in Asia-Pacific are building infrastructure and app habits, highlighted by Chinese chat giant WeChat, which have little to no such legacy drag effect on the growth of their app economy.”
The average user generated $0.80 per hour globally, across app stores, in-app ads and mcommerce in 2016. However, that global average hides massive differentials. For example, Japan generated an average of $13.98 per hour and, on aggregate, spent more than 68 billion hours in apps in 2016. This is a function of relatively high spend levels in app stores and mobile commerce. Japan spent on average $123 per device last year in app stores compared to the nearest countries (Singapore and South Korea) at $67 per device.