2021 has been a promising year for mobile platforms. There has been a huge growth in users of mobile apps and this has led to some amazing trends. In this article we will discuss in detail about these trends and analyse its effect on mobile markets of 2022.

Mobile first markets spend one third of waking hours on mobile

Across the top 10 markets analyzed, the average time spent by users surpassed 4 hours 48 minutes in 2021, which is a 30 percent rise from 2019. Some countries like Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea even surpassed 5 hours per day.

Globally 230 Billion downloads, $170 Billion in consumer spend, 3.8 trillion hours

The US has seen phenomenal growth in consumer spend, adding an additional $43 billion in 2021, $10.4 billion more than 2020, equating to 30% growth YoY as mobile gaming and in-app subscriptions go mainstream.

Emerging markets dominate for downloads growth with India seeing standout downloads. Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt were among the fastest growing markets for downloads at 25%, 25%, 25%, 20% 15% and 15% growth YoY, respectively.

Mobile adoption boomed in 2021, with growth across downloads, usage and app store consumer spend.

7 of Every 10 Minutes on Mobile Was Spent in Social and Photo & Video Apps in 2021

As time increases on mobile in emerging categories, consumers are also engaging deeper in early-mover categories like Social, Communication and Photo & Video apps.

While Photo & Video apps (e.g. YouTube and TikTok) have seen an increase in market share of time spent, this has largely not been at the expense of current habits. Rather, consumers have turned historically 'non-mobile' time into time spent in apps and games.

The pandemic accelerated existing mobile habits, which have solidified in 2021. While social dominates for time spent globally, regional differences in app preferences highlight unique market differences.

Market Differences Emerge by Gender Based on App Category

Sports apps are very popular with males in each market analyzed, whereas Food & Drink apps tend to skew more female. However, the difference can be subtle in the case of the US for Food & Drink and more dramatic in other markets like Japan.

We also see that the most used apps in each country tend to buck category. For instance, Shopping apps on the whole tend to skew more female overall, yet Amazon skews more male in Japan, the UK, Germany, France and Canada. Only in the US does Amazon skew more female.

Mobile Ecosystem Healthier Than Ever: Publishers Released 2 Million New Apps & Games in 2021

This brings the total of apps and games ever released on iOS and Google

Play to over 21 million.

Google Play accounted for 77% of all apps and games releases in 2021. Across both iOS and Google Play, Games represented 15% of all new releases in 2021. The remaining 85% of new apps span all categories of the app stores, from mobile-first movers like social to mobile-forced industries like insurance and healthcare.

Apps are also removed and phased out overtime to leave the current live apps and games available to download on the app stores at 5.4 million (1.8 million on iOS and 3.6 million on Google Play).

With smartphones providing unparalleled reach and access to billions of consumers worldwide, every industry is a mobile-focused industry. New app releases illustrate the demand for engaging customers on mobile.

233 Apps & Games Generated Over $100 Million Dollars Annually in 2021

Consumers migrated more of their entertainment and games consumption onto mobile. In 2021, there were over 230 apps and games surpassing $100M in annual consumer spend, with 13 of them surpassing $1 Billion.

This was up 20% from 2020 at 193 apps and games over $100M in annual spend, and only 8 over $1 Billion.

Improved connectivity, screen size and hardware have made it easier than ever before to enjoy premium applications & gaming experiences on-the-go.

Consumers, consequently, migrated share of wallet to mobile as the de facto gaming console and tool for managing our lives.

Gen Z is a Mobile Social & Video First Generation

Apps in categories that are already highly relevant to Gen Z can be excellent partners to help you increase engagement, including Photo & Video, Entertainment,

and Social.

Finance and Shopping apps haven’t managed to reach a broad Gen Z audience, but these categories have experienced strong growth YoY and represent a promising area for investment. These categories tend to skew more towards Millennials at this stage.

Mobile data unearths opportunities for reaching Gen Z: whether its an underserved market or a highly-engaged vertical to leverage.