The COVID-19 pandemic changed our daily lives in more ways than one. With more and more people staying at home, there was a massive uptick in mobile entertainment, especially games and movies. Not surprisingly, this increased interest has driven App Store sales through the roof, according to a report by mobile analytics company Sensor Tower that was shared by The Motley Fool.
App Store Revenue Skyrockets
In the third quarter of 2020, total consumer spending on mobile apps climbed to an estimated $30 million, a 32% jump. This growth is the direct result of the coronavirus outbreak as people stuck at home turned to mobile games and apps for entertainment. Downloads skyrockets to 36.5 billion with Android accounting for a majority (28.3 billion) of these downloads when compared to the App Store (8.2 billion).
iOS App Store Out-Earns Google Play
Even though Google’s Play Store logged more downloads than Apple in the most recent quarter of 2020, the App Store generated almost twice as much revenue. The App Store raked in approximately $19 billion for iOS developers, while Google Play only netted $10.3 billion. Though the amount of money spent in the App Store has skyrocketed, Apple’s lead remains the same, with the company consistently doubling Google’s app revenue.
Mobile Gaming Explodes
People were spending more money than ever on mobile games in Q3 2020, with game revenue jumping 27%. Within the App Store revenue, over two-thirds (70%) of the customer spending was directed towards mobile games. The top winner in the gaming category was Chinese megacorp Tencent, which had not one, but two of the top-grossing games — Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile. Other notable mentions include Roblox which saw a 119% jump in revenue.
Legal Battle Tarnishes Success
While the App Store and mobile games are exploding, app developers face increasing hostility both from Apple and the Trump administration. After banning apps that used their own payment system, Apple is facing a lawsuit from Fortnite Developer Epic Games over Apple’s 30 percent cut of app sales. Epic claims this practice is anti-competitive and is heading to court next year to challenge it legally.
The Trump administration also is considering whether it should restrict the payment system of Chinese developer Tencent over security concerns. The administration recently tried to ban TikTok and WeChat, but a judge blocked the ban last month, ruling that it infringed on a person’s right to communicate.