App Growth Series

Every year,  Mary Meeker, a prominent internet and mobile analyst with KPCB, does a detailed postmortem analysis of Internet Trends. She also provides entrepreneurs, a window into the future of what innovations to expect.

This is part of a series of blogs about what opportunities we see for app publishers and with recommendations on how to further grow apps. 

This is second blog in this app growth series.  

The first one was about China & India surpass US internet users, and Growth opportunity for app publishers.

Day in Life of a Mobile User in 2016 (@KPCB)

Average # of apps install on device (excluding preinstalled) average # of apps used daily Average # of apps accounting for 80% of app usage Time spent on phone per day Most commonly used apps



12 3 5 Hours

Facebook, Chrome, YouTube

Worldwide 33 12 3 4 Hours

Facebook, WhatsApp, Chrome

1. Users spend 4 to 5 hours a day on apps

Worldwide, mobile users spend 4 hours per day on an average on their devices. For US the number is 5 hours per day. (Which is significantly up from 2.8 hours last year in US reported by Business Of Apps)

  • Mobile Market is maturing to a level that apps are increasingly used to accomplish more and more tasks, at home, at work, and for entertainment.  With so much competition between apps that solve a need and do it providing a personalized experience are the ones that will win.
  • 4 to 5 hours is significant amount of time considering people sleep for a third of the day.

2. Users are installing more apps

Average number of user installed apps (excluding pre installed) is up to 37 in US (from 26.7 in 2015).  The number globally is lower at 33.

  • Another sign that mobile market is maturing
  • Devices with lower memory are popular in developing countries, indicated by the difference, 37 in US and 33 globally.
    • App developers should keep apps lightweight. Smaller apps are faster to download and leave more storage room on the device.
    • Consider lazy loading of app resources. The resources should be requested when the app is likely to enter the appropriate state. For example, in a game with many levels, the user needs only the resources associated with the current and next levels.
    • When an app has resources that are used infrequently, they can be left on the cloud and requested as they are needed. For example, an app tutorial is usually shown once after the app is opened for the first time, and may never be used again. The app requests the tutorial on first launch, and then requests the tutorial only when needed or when new features are added.
    • Remote storage of in-app purchase resources. The app offers in-app purchases that includes additional resources. The resources for purchased modules are requested by the app after it is launched.
    • See On Demand resources for iOS 9+
  • Users use apps that interact with users in a meaningful way without spamming them.

3. Users are using much more apps daily

Mary Meeker reports that users are using 12 apps daily with 80% of time on top three apps (Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube). This is significantly up from previous numbers by statistica:  43 percent of respondents stated that they used an average of 4 to 6 mobile apps on a daily basis.

Users use apps that interact with users in a meaningful and personalized way without spamming them

4. Average selling price of devices dropping

Average selling price of iOS devices expected to be $651 and Android $208.  Android market share at three times iOS indicates more growth for Android apps.  Android continues to be expected to grow faster in developing countries.

Remember this when:

  • selecting platform to develop in
  • developing monetization strategy – iOS continues to lead in monetization (See section below for forthcoming changes)
  • pricing in-app purchases

5. Bots will fuel more apps alongside messaging platforms

Chat-bots are preforming tasks within messaging platforms and can handover to installed apps utilizing deep-linking.


App stores will be more profitable

Apple is committed to making the app store more profitable for app publishers with renewed focus and energy

Although not from Mary Meeker’s postmortem Internet trends, Phil Schiller – who took over the Apple app stores last year in an interview with Lauren Goode of TheVerge is revamping the app store.

  • More monetization opportunities for app publishers with better pricing for subscriptions with 85:15 split in favor of app publishers after the first year.
  • App store approvals are down to two days for 90% apps
  • App publishers had been vocal about how the app store was stagnating and this boost is good news for most app publishers |

Posted by Dickey Singh

Dickey Singh is the CEO and co-founder at Pyze and has over two decades of experience in mobile, Big Data and SaaS. He started Pyze to help app publishers engage, retain and grow their mobile users using automation. Get Pyze:

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  1. […] The second one was about Maturing app market & subscription incentives means growth opportunity for app publishers […]


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