Mobile App Market Size 2020

It comes as no surprise that the mobile app market size has increased once more. I doubt that anyone can claim that knows someone not using a smartphone or a tablet. If there are people who do not use this type of technology (at least in the western world), they surely belong to a minority.

The proliferation of smartphone users worldwide and internet penetration in developing countries inevitably leads to a robust mobile app usage drive. As expected, this rapid growth leads to higher revenues for companies, thus leading to this rally in market sizes.

Indeed, the predominance of communication through the internet and cheaper data plans have led many people online to communicate. The increasing use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) significantly expands mobile app capabilities. Inevitably, this leads to even more impressive and innovative applications on the market and, therefore, higher sales.

Mobile App Developers Revenue Models

The leading platforms for purchasing applications in mobile devices are Google Store and Apple Store. I am sure that most of you are already familiar with these stores. They come pre-installed on your mobile devices and are the primary source for application downloading. While browsing through those stores, someone can identify both free mobile apps but also paid ones. You may think it is weird about downloading applications for free, but developers still make money based on the revenue model they employ. The existing revenue models that exist are three:

  1. Paid applications
  2. In-app purchases
  3. In-app advertisements

First, as the name suggests, the paid applications are apps that you pay a certain amount of money to download. Next, the in-app purchases model usually provides functionality up to a certain degree and pushes you to buy credits or other premium features that upgrade its functionality. Finally, in-app advertisements are entirely free and downloadable apps that contain advertisements. Therefore, these advertisements pay a small amount of money to the mobile app developer. Usually, the users also can pay for this otherwise free app to have these “annoying” advertisements removed.

The Mobile App Market Size in Numbers  

All the above constitutes a brief description of the mobile app market as it stands up to this point. But it is vital to put it into perspective by mentioning the numbers behind this growing and up-and-coming market.

The mobile application market size globally for 2020 stands at USD 170.5 billion and an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% from 2020 up to 2027. With these numbers in mind, the revenue forecast for the year 2027 is calculated at USD 366.34 billion, when the revenues for 2016 were only USD 124.23 billion.

Moreover, the monetization rate of iOS apps is significantly higher than that of android apps. In particular, 60% of the global mobile app market revenue came through Apple Store as opposed to Google Play Store. However, when it comes to the total number of downloads, the Google Play Store is the undisputed king in the market. This clear dominance is supported by the intense competition in the market with emerging new competitors producing android devices, thus having a vast consumer base.

The clear winner in the mobile app market size is gaming applications with a 40% share, concerning the market segments. It is then followed by Music & Entertainment applications, Health & Fitness, Social Networking, Retail & e-Commerce, and others.


The existing potential in mobile app development is evident based on its current growth and future projections. The mobile gaming industry is incredibly robust at the moment, thus offering many opportunities in mobile game development. Simultaneously, software development jobs are some of the most well-paid jobs currently in the market, which reflects the dynamic of the market.

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED) participates as a project partner to the Erasmus+ m-Game project. The objective of m-Game is to develop a series of courses on Mobile Game Development to foster employability in one of the highest growth sectors. The project aims to train people to join the game developer community as entrepreneurs and team members.

Are you interested in innovative projects like mobile app development? Become Partners with iED to access our expertise and our vast network of partners for all your project needs.

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Vasilis Bouronikos
Content & Communication Manager

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