According to a new report by research firm App Annie, the mobile app market will continue its relentless expansion throughout 2017 and beyond.

The industry-leading firm predicts that markets will see faster growth, as well as an evolution and maturation of download metrics and revenue in major emerging and developed markets.

The future of the app economy is bright, and at App Annie they expect consumer spending around the world to exceed $139 billion in 2021.

App store revenue grows

In the study of the prestigious research firm App Annie, it is predicted that global mobile app downloads in all app stores will increase at an annual growth rate of 19% to reach 352 billion in 2021, while investing will grow 18% to $139.1 billion in 2021.

The growth of app stores is impressive, and it is also a part of the economy of mobile applications along with in-app advertising and mobile commerce revenues that continue to increase in parallel.

APAC will remain the largest region in terms of downloads and revenue syllaking by 2021, with $76.5 billion, with China as the leader. Americas will contribute 35.1 billion compared to 14.2 billion in 2016 and 19.1 billion expected for 2017. Among all regions they will spend $82.2 billion this year.

With revenue per device of nearly $105, Japan will remain one of the most lucrative markets, while India’s growth will increase downloads.

Of the total downloads in 2016 the games accounted for 39% of all app downloads and the 11% time spent on Android apps, and generated 81% spending through stores by consumers.

Games will continue to dominate revenue and downloads through 2021, although subscriptions to non-game streaming services will continue to grow rapidly. Given the continued shift from the game to mobile and consumer ease with gaming spending, this category is expected to continue generating the majority of returns in 2021.

Play Store won’t outperform the iOS App Store

The mobile app market has become the way of life for thousands of developers around the world and, of course, is a succulent source of revenue for companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. And as in almost everything, also in this market is fought an interesting battle full of competitiveness of which in the end, users are the most benefited, although not in economic terms but in quality.

The Annie App report reveals that the iOS App Store will continue to maintain revenue leadership at least, until 2021, followed second by Google’s Play Store.

The report has a double reading on this, because although it says that the iOS App Store will remain the most revenue-hungry app store for the next five years, it also says that revenue from the sale of mobile apps for Android in its entirety will outsource to revenue from iOS apps for the first time in 2017.

While this is true, it is no less true that this conclusion includes all Android app stores, i.e. in addition to the Google Play Store itself, downloads from third-party app stores such as those operated by Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, Huawei and others, with special relevance in China.

Therefore, while Android apps will generate more revenue in their entirety, when it comes to stores, it will be Apple’s iOS app store that generates even more revenue than Google’s Play Store, at least until 2021, the date of projection of this report .

App Annie’s study estimates that App Store revenue will reach $60 billion, up from $42 billion in the Google Play Store for that year, to which we will have to add the $36 billion that app stores will generate third-party Android devices.

China to maintain leadership

The Android app market is growing largely thanks to mobile adoption in China, as well as other emerging markets, particularly Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia.

This will also affect app downloads. Android downloads from Google Play and elsewhere will be recorded at an annualized rate of 23 percent, at 299.9 billion by 2021. App studio Annie also found that app downloads are more evenly distributed across countries around the world, but revenue is another matter.

According to their data, the top five countries by downloads, China, India, the United States, Brazil and Indonesia, accounted for 54% of the global downloads last year, and this will not change much until 2021, as growth in China and India balances growth outside the top five.

However, these top five countries accounted for 75% of global revenue in 2016. This number is expected to rise to 85% in 2021 due to increased spending on existing smartphone user games and subscriptions in mature markets, mainly in China, but also in the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Growth in downloads in China

China, due to its large population and growing middle class, continues to play a key role in app store revenue, but its market is maturing, the report notes. Most Chinese application users are expected to use them on a regular basis by 2021, which will keep revenue growth going.

In addition, downloads in China are expected to grow at an annualized rate of 19% from last 2016 to 2021, while consumer sunwill grow 24 percent to $56.5 billion. In big cities, much of the smartphone market in China is already saturated, meaning much of the growth will come from other regions across the country.

India, by contrast, is still in the early stages of the application market maturity cycle, and will see significant discharge and revenue growth through 2021. Downloads will grow 28 percent to about 23 billion in 2021 and app store spending will grow at an annual rate of 75% to $2.1 billion.

Despite India’s growth, consumer spending will be lower in the region due to a variety of factors, including more limited purchasing power and a culture that is more focused on savings than on spending on gaming or entertainment.