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Mobile app use surges 40% in Q2: here’s what retailers need to know

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It comes as no surprise that consumers are leaning on mobile now more than ever during this difficult time – but just how mobile have people been during the global pandemic?

Mobile data company App Annie has taken a look at the number for Q2 2020 and found that, in April 2020 there was a monthly all-time high of more than 200 billion hours spent in mobile apps worldwide. With the average user spending 4 hours and 20 minutes per day on smartphones, it’s more important than ever for brands to have a strategy in place to help them win on mobile.

So, what has it found?

Consumers downloaded 35 billion new apps in Q2 2020

Google Play downloads grew 10% year over year to 25B, while iOS downloads grew 20% year over year to nearly 10B new downloads for the quarter. On Google Play, non-gaming apps accounted for 55% of all downloads, while on iOS the figure was slightly higher at 70%.


On a category level, Google Play Games, Tools and Entertainment were the largest by downloads. Business, Health & Fitness and Education and  have all seen strong quarter-over-quarter growth in downloads of 115%, 75% and 50% respectively.

On iOS, Games, Photo and Video and Entertainment remained the largest categories by downloads for four straight quarters. The Business category was the largest driver of overall download growth, led by video conferencing apps. Health and Fitness, Shopping and Medical apps all had strong quarter-over-quarter growth of 30%, 25% and 20%.

Consumers spent $27 billion in apps in Q2 2020

Q2 2020 was the largest quarter yet for mobile apps usage, downloads and consumer spend. Consumer spend on iOS grew 20% year over year to $17 billion in Q2 2020, and 25% year over year on Google Play to $10 billion. Non-gaming apps accounted for 35% of consumer spend on iOS and 15% on Google Play, largely due to in-app subscriptions.

On Google Play, Games, Social and Entertainment were the largest categories by consumer spend driven largely by Disney+ and Twitch

On iOS, Games, Entertainment and Photo and Video were the 3 largest categories by consumer spend. Photo and Video has seen strong quarter-over-quarter growth, with consumer spend up by 25% from Q1 2020. TikTok’s continued rise in 2020 is a key driver of this, securing the #1 top grossing app on iOS App Store globally in Q2 2020.


Top breakout apps of Q2 2020

ZOOM Cloud Meetings has become a household name during the current period of social distancing, occupying #2 of the most downloaded apps rank globally in Q2 2020. It has now expanded past its primary use cases for business and education collaboration to virtual live performances, with an increasing number of artists streaming their concerts and intimate performances online amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Originally released as Hangouts Meet, Google has rebranded their video calling app and incorporated their premium video conferencing service as Google Meet for free in their April 2020 version update.

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