Exploring the Global Opportunity in Mobile

Ever since the first smartphone appeared on the horizon, we knew mobile and mobile advertising will never be the same!

Our friends at Newzoo recently released the annual Global Mobile Market Report, providing a detailed breakdown of the global mobile market, which has been growing for many years now at an exciting pace. We took a look at the report and have broken down the most important takeaways for our readers on the AppLift Blog.

The Mobile Market

The report shows there were 2.8 billion smartphones in use last year and that Samsung was the global leader with a market share of 31%, ahead of Apple with 25%. Apple was the world’s leading tablet brand, with a market share of almost 64%. In terms of app spend, Newzoo says that consumers will spend a total of $56.4 billion on apps this year, with games accounting for 82% of this.

The Rise of the Giants in the East

Focusing on the app market side of things, the global app store revenues are poised to grow from $56.4 billion in 2017 to $85.0 billion in 2020 as the number of smartphone users increases from 2.6 billion to 3.6 billion over the same period. Most of this growth will come from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, while more mature markets of North America and Europe will continue to grow at a lower but stable rate.

The biggest region in the world in terms of app store revenues in 2017 is Asia-Pacific, accounting for $31.8 billion (56%). Taking third-party app stores into account, China is the biggest single market within Asia-Pacific, generating $16.4 billion in consumer spend on apps. North America and Europe are considerably smaller in terms of revenues, with $10.6 billion and $8.5 billion in revenues, respectively.

  • China has the most smartphone users, with 717 million consumers actively using a smartphone in 2017. China is followed by India, the U.S., Brazil, and Russia as the world’s largest smartphone markets by number of users.
  • In 2016, India overtook the U.S. as the world’s second-biggest smartphone market. The gap between the two countries will increase. India will grow strongly to 300 million smartphone users by the end of 2017, while the number in the U.S. will only grow modestly to 226 million. The world’s highest smartphone penetration can be found in the Middle East.

Game On!

On the gaming side of things, revenues will reach $46.1 billion this year, or 82% of the total app market. More than three-quarters of this, or $35.3 billion, will come from smartphone gaming, with tablet games accounting for the remaining $10.8 billion. Toward 2020, the share taken by games will decrease to 76% as companies figure out the best way to monetize their services through apps and the app stores.

What would be interesting, however, is the growth of the non-gaming services. Revenues from non-gaming services will grow dramatically, as companies are still figuring out the best way to monetize their services through apps. Total revenues from the non-gaming categories are set to increase from $10.2 billion in 2017 to $20.0 billion in 2020. These revenues will grow healthily across the board, in developing and mature markets alike. At the same time, alternative distribution channels such as independent Android app stores, direct downloads, and other ways to bypass the traditional app stores, are expected to flourish, providing a potential threat to Apple and Google.