A hand holding an iPhone with the App Store pulled up

According to a newly released report by data analysis firm SensorTower, smartphone users spent nearly $60 billion on apps in 2017 — that includes in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps from both Apple's App Store and Google Play. That's up by nearly 35 percent from last year, when users only spent approximately $44 billion on apps. Though that's a big jump for both the Apple and Android app stores, it's Apple that's really pulling in the most revenue overall — the company earned almost double that of Google Play:

Apple's App Store saw consumer spending of approximately $38.5 billion last year, nearly double the estimated $20.1 billion spent on Google Play, which, unlike its competitor, is not available in China. In terms of growth, this translated to a year-over-year increase of about 34.7 percent for the App Store, edging out Google Play at approximately 34.2 percent.

In addition, SensorTower also found that first-time app downloads are up about 13.5 percent overall, with Google Play leading in that particular growth department:

The growth of Google Play app downloads was more pronounced than those from Apple's store at 16.7 percent versus 6.7 percent, respectively, a byproduct of Android's higher rate of adoption in developing nations. Google Play downloads, which we count as the first install of an app per user account, totaled approximately 64 billion, or about 2.3 times the App Store's estimated 28 billion.

All of this corresponds with Apple's Thursday announcement that iOS developers earned $26.5 billion over the course of 2017, with individuals spending $890 million in the seven-day period starting on Christmas Eve alone.

For more detailed information regarding app revenue, check out SensorTower's report here.


Did you purchase any really good apps this past year? What were they? Share your favorites with us in the comments!

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