Sensor Tower predicts that global mobile market spending will grow at an average annual rate of 12% over the next five years.
In 2026, consumer spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions will reach $233 billion on the App Store and Google Play. That’s 77 percent more than the $132 billion spent by users in 2021. Using data from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, the market forecast analyzes the long-term implications of current trends and changing consumer habits over the next five years.
Mobile market & twelve percent annual growth
Although consumer habits have normalized after the initial spike during the pandemic, marketplace revenue will continue to grow annually, reaching $233 billion in 2026. The mobile market will be in full swing!
Sensor Tower predicts that the App Store will grow at an annual rate of 13.7% through 2026, reaching $161 billion a year. Consumer spending on Google’s platform will grow 8.9% a year and will reach $72 billion over the next five years.
The United States will be ahead of the global trend, with consumer spending reaching $86 billion in 2026 at a growth rate of 16.5%. The U.S. App Store is projected to grow 18.8% to $59.5 billion, and Google Play will reach $27.4 billion with a growth rate of 12.3%.
The number of first downloads is consistently increasing
After a surge in first downloads in 2020, results have declined, but the number of first downloads will continue to set new records over the next five years, increasing 4.7% to 181 billion in 2026. App Store downloads will grow 2.9% to 37.8 billion over the next five years. Google Play will surpass that figure and increase by 5.2% to 143.1 billion.
The first downloads in the U.S. are lower than the global numbers. The total number of installations in the App Store and Google Play in 2026 will grow to 13.4 billion, with a growth rate of 0.5% per year. Growth will come from the App Store, which will show 1.4% growth and reach 8.2 billion. Google Play, on the other hand, will decline by 1.2% to reach 5.2 billion downloads in 2026.
Non-gaming apps will account for the majority of iOS spending by 2026
Mobile games remain a high-profit category, but by 2026 the revenue share of non-gaming apps will exceed their share, at least on the App Store. By 2026, mobile gaming’s revenue share will be 43%, down 23 points from 2020. Google Play will also see a downward trend in mobile gaming over the next five years, but the result will remain at 65% in 2026, 18 points less than in 2020.
Among non-gaming apps on iOS, the Entertainment category leads, with a 5-point increase in revenue share over the next five years to 13%. Social, entertainment, and productivity apps are the largest non-gaming apps by revenue share on Google Play, with social and entertainment apps flattening out at 6% in 2026.
Asia takes a leading position
Asia will have the biggest growth in app adoption. Thanks to Google Play, performance in this region will be 6.2% per year, which equals 88.3 billion first downloads by 2026. Apple’s annual market growth rate will be 1.7%, reaching 14.5 billion over the next five years. Google Play’s overall annual growth rate will exceed 7.2% and reach 73.8 billion in 2026.
For a detailed analysis that includes findings on specific markets and categories, HC.Games editors recommend downloading the full report in PDF format.