Global mobile app revenue and downloads are expected to grow significantly in the next 4 years
Global mobile app revenue and downloads are expected to grow significantly in the next 4 yearsReuters

India is the world's fourth largest mobile app economy. The country is surging into the Mobile-App Age with 7.7 billion mobile apps to be downloaded by the end of 2016, App Annie, a San Francisco-based analytics company has stated.

The annual growth rate is expected to touch 92 percent in 2016, and the country is poised to reach 20.1 billion downloads of various apps by 2020. China, US, and Brazil though have bigger app economies than India and naturally higher downloads. 

"With the introduction of affordable smartphones and better infrastructure supporting mobile, and given India's population, the growth here is expected to be significant," Junde Yu, MD of App Annie APAC told The Times of India.

He however pointed out that the differentiating factor is the time Indians are spending on these apps. Yu emphasized that India's app economy was not driven by the number of downloads or the revenue but by the amount of time spent in-app by the users.

Time spent on the Apps

Yu told ToI that the perception that Indians spent more time on mobile browsers than on mobile apps was not true. Close to 93 percent of Indians spent time on their apps, similar to users across the globe.

In first quarter of 2016, Indians spent more than twice their time on apps as against Q1 of 2014.

Financial Express referring to the same App Annie report said the apps from India's retail companies such as Myntra, Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and others saw customers spending 11.5 times more time in-app during the same period. The companies, the Daily noted, have also adapted and expanded their service offerings in the intervening years.

Nearly 75 percent of the top 10 of India's e-commerce retailers invested more on their mobile-first approach, as opposed to 10 percent retailers in the U.S. and U.K. The report cited as an example that Flipkart had more active users, while Amazon app was downloaded the most.

Video streaming apps like the youtube, hotstars and others came second after retail, with 7.4 times growth on the time spent in-app during Q1 of 2014 and 2016. With regard to taxi aggregation, Ola was the most used and downloaded app, followed by Uber.

In an earlier report, App Annie predicted that in 2016, the global mobile app market will expand 24 per cent to clock $51 billion in gross revenue from all app stores. By 2020, gross revenue is expected to touch $101 billion globally. The mobile app downloads too will double by 2020 to 284 billion, with the large scale growth from emerging countries like India.