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Mobile App Development

50 Mobile App Stats You Need To Know Before You Start Development


Mobile app development is a major investment. Acquiring users isn’t cheap. Nurturing engagement is delicate. Breaking into the mobile market is an iterative process that requires in-depth research, extensive planning, and unbeatable dedication. Case and point, finding success in the mobile market is not an easy task. But the truth of the matter is, having a mobile presence is non-negotiable today.


Before you commit yourself to mobile app development, it’s important to become familiar with the mobile ecosystem as a whole. Only then can you make an informed decision about what mobile strategy best suits your needs.


The following is a complete list of 50 mobile statistics to get the gears turning and better inform you about the market you’re about to enter.

Mobile Usage

If you’re skeptical about the importance of a mobile presence, you should consider the way society prioritizes mobile activity.


  1. By 2020, there will be roughly 6 billion mobile users. (Source)
  2. In 2018, there were 194 billion mobile app downloads. (Source)
  3. In only two years, app store consumer spending increased by 75 percent to $101 billion worldwide. (Source)
  4. The in-app subscription model created a 120 percent increase in global consumer spend for non-gaming apps. (Source)
  5. In 2018, the average mobile user spent three hours a day on their smartphone. (Source)
  6. Mobile app users in the United States have over 100 apps installed on their smartphone. (Source)
  7. The average mobile user checks their smartphone 47 times a day. (Source)
  8. 80 percent of users will check their phones at least one hour before sleep, and 35 percent of those users will check their phones within 5 minutes before sleep. (Source)
  9. Generation Z (ages 16-24) spends 20 percent more time and engages with their most-used apps 30 percent more often than the rest of the population. (Source)
  10. Mobile apps accounted for 57 percent of all digital media usage in 2018. (Source)

The evidence is clear, people don’t just find their smartphones convenient, but they are dependent on them. Given the growing dependence on mobile, it’s critical to adapt business models to match key audiences’ behavior. If a large majority of your audience is mobile-first or mobile-only, your business needs to communicate with them based on their preference.  


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Mobile Performance

When it comes to mobile, users have exceptionally high standards for functionality and performance. It’s mandatory to adapt your digital content to translate seamlessly across varying screen sizes and multiple devices.


Native apps are fast, responsive, and deliver a generally well-received user experience. These applications have access to inbuilt hardware, as well as support for every interface interaction offered by the respective operating system.


Nevertheless, you can’t neglect mobile web content. Mobile web applications are ideally suited for content consumption and can be designed to imitate native apps. However, web app usability relies heavily on the web browser performance. It’s crucial for your mobile web design to adjust content and determine device resolution to properly accommodate the presentation and delivery of digital media.

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Website: Which is the Better Option?


Any mobile enterprise needs to be thoroughly tested. Performance factors like load times, product crashes, and complicated registration fields all add up to poor user experience and can ruin your chances of market success.


  1. App crashes cause 71 percent of uninstalls.  (Source)
  2. 67 percent of bugs are reported iOS devices. (Source)
  3. 44 percent of in-app defects are found by the user. (Source)
  4. 47 percent of apps need more time for testing. (Source)
  5. 58 percent of users are frustrated by interface inconsistencies. (Source)
  6. 52 percent of users are frustrated by overall app performance. (Source)
  7. 29 percent of users will immediately abandon an app if they don’t find it valuable. (Source)
  8. 70 percent of users abandon an app because it takes too long to load. (Source)
  9. 43 percent of users are unhappy if they have to wait longer than three seconds for your app to load. (Source)
  10. 65 percent of users say a poor mobile experience negatively impacts their opinion of the brand. (Source)

If you haven’t properly tested your product, it’s simply not market-ready. A documented testing process is a critical element of any mobile strategy.

Mobile Marketing 

Achieving momentum in the mobile app market is difficult for even the most established enterprises. Drafting a thorough mobile marketing plan is the cornerstone of a successful product launch. The marketing component of your overall development process if ongoing and requires constant maintenance.


  1. Only 54 percent of marketers say they currently use a mobile app platform to market to their prospects and customers. (Source)
  2. The cost to acquire a user has decreased by 29.9 percent year over year to $2.89. (Source)
  3. The cost to acquire a user who completes a registration form was $4.58 in 2018, which is a decrease of 44.2 percent. (Source)
  4. Leveraging a multi-channel engagement strategy proves to be a powerful retention method with retention rates being 62 percent higher than apps that only engage users with one channel. (Source)
  5. The most popular form of app store optimization (ASO) came in the form of description updates at 46 percent. (Source)
  6. App icon updates were the second most frequent form of ASO at 30 percent, up 24 percent year over year. (Source)
  7. Mobile accounted for 65 percent of digital ad spend in the US last year. (Source)
  8. The total amount of downloads for top apps from paid strategy grew 10 percent year over year. (Source)
  9. The Apple App Store leveraged 25 percent more ad platforms year over year. (Source)
  10. The Google Play Store leveraged 20 percent more ad platforms year over year. (Source)

The mobile app market is evolving rapidly. Connected customer experiences are seen as a requirement from businesses and services alike. As a response, organizations need to expand beyond their established tactics, toolkits and channels to reach their audiences and meet the expectations of mobile app customers.

Trends by Vertical

Looking at a breakdown of each mobile app vertical provides wildly different insights into how users interact with mobile apps. With each vertical and category, retention rates, session duration, and in-app activity vary.

Banking and FinTech

  1. Banking and FinTech app downloads exploded in 2018 reaching 3.4 billion downloads – a 75 percent increase in two years. (Source)
  2. The average session duration for banking and FinTech apps is 3.1 minutes. (Source)

Food, Restaurants and QSRs

  1. Consumers ordered food and drinks through apps 130 percent more often in 2018 than in 2016 (Source)
  2. In Canada and the United States, food delivery apps witnessed an increase in usage by 255 percent and 175 percent, respectively. (Source)


  1. The top 5 car sharing apps grew 25 percent year over year in 2018. (Source)
  2. In contrast, bike and scooter sharing apps made their debut with force this past year witnessing a growth of 530 percent in user base. (Source)
  3. The average session duration for travel apps is 2.8 minutes. (Source)


  1. November 2018 was the biggest mobile shopping month of all time by total time spent. (Source)
  2. The average session duration for shopping and retail apps is 4.6 to 5 minutes. (Source
  3. In the United States, mobile shopping grew by 70 percent in the past two years. (Source)


Keep in mind, every app vertical has its unique set of benchmarks and best practices to follow. What’s realistic is based on a case-to-case basis depending on the purpose of your app and your overall business goals.

2019 Predictions

  1. App store consumer spend will exceed $120 billion in 2019. (Source)
  2. 10 minutes of every hour spent consuming media next year will be streaming video on mobile. (Source)
  3. In 2019, 60 percent more apps will monetize through in-app advertising.  (Source)
  4. Global consumer spending on entertainment and streaming apps will grow by 460 percent from the rise of in-app subscriptions to streaming services. (Source)
  5. Mobile gaming will grow to 60 percent of the market share. (Source)
  6. Acquiring users will be easier in 2019, but the cost to convert users has more than doubled by 63 percent, making it more difficult to build ongoing loyalty. (Source)
  7. The costs of acquiring female users who complete purchases will likely remain high in 2019 as the price averaged at $94.16 in 2018. (Source)
  8. The situation is similar for conversions, acquiring female users who convert will likely remain expensive as the price averaged at $53.12 in 2018. (Source)
  9. In 2018, engagement rates for female users were at 39.6 percent, which is 44.4% higher than male users. This trend is poised to stay the same in 2019. (Source)
  10. 78 percent of all teenagers will use a smartphone as their primary device.

Key Takeaways

In 2018, there were 194 billion mobile app downloads, and thousands of apps get added to app stores every day. Customers now officially expect flawless channel coordination, specifically with mobile as a central touchpoint. To deliver value, businesses need to meet customer expectations with more emphasis on mobile engagement, but deciding to reach audiences with a mobile app is very much dependant on customer segments, business models, and business goals. This obvious shift towards the general consumer’s mobile-first mindset has many organizations asking, “does my brand need an app to be successful in 2019?


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Annie Dossey

Digital Marketing Manager