Pakistan Among Fastest-growing Markets for Mobile App Usage, Downloads: Report

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Pakistan is among the fastest-growing markets in terms of downloads and hours spent on apps per user, depicting a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 25 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

Mobile data and analytics platform App Annie’s report ‘State of Mobile 2022’ ranks Pakistan twelfth on the list of the largest mobile markets by downloads, with 2.604 billion reported app downloads in 2021, up from 2.05 billion in 2020 and 1.61 billion in 2019.

According to the report, Pakistan also ranks sixth on the list of the largest mobile markets in terms of the hours spent on apps, with 133.98 billion hours spent in 2021, up from 104.4 billion in 2020 and 73.98 billion in 2019.

Mobile adoption clearly boomed in 2021 worldwide with growth in downloads, app usage, and app store consumer expenditure. App Annie attributes the pandemic for spearheading the reported mobile habits that solidified in 2021. While social media dominates for time spent globally, regional disparities in app preferences show distinct market differences around the world.

Emerging markets dominated the growth in downloads, with India seeing standout downloads. Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Egypt were among the fastest-growing markets for YoY growth in downloads at 25 percent, 25 percent, 25 percent, 20 percent, 15 percent, and 15 percent respectively.

Worldwide Statistics

Globally, the smartphone world saw over 230 billion app downloads, a massive $170 billion in consumer expenditure, and a total of 3.8 trillion hours in app-time.

With the total spending on mobile applications worldwide estimated at $170 billion for 2021, this depicts an increase of 19 percent in the amount of money spent by companies/developers as compared to last year.

App Annie found that the mobile ecosystem has remained healthy throughout the pandemic. Publishers released two million new games and apps in 2021 and advertising spend grew 23 percent from the previous year to top $295 billion.

It also listed the top apps and games worldwide and by individual countries by downloads and consumer spending.

Top-Rated Apps

Globally, the top five most downloaded apps in 2021 were TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram. By consumer spend, the list was TikTok, YouTube, Tinder, Tencent Video, Disney+, and Tencent Video.

Moreover, Google (top app Google Meet), Meta (top app Instagram), ByteDance (top app TikTok), Microsoft (top app Microsoft Teams), and InShot (top app InShot) were the top publishers by downloads. Google, Match Group, Tencent, Disney, and ByteDance were the top publishers in terms of consumer spending.

The top games by downloads included Project Makeover,,, DOP 2: Delete One Part and Bridge Race. Additionally, Honour of Kings, Fantasy Westward Journey, Candy Crush Saga, Homescapes, and Empires & Puzzles topped the list in terms of spending.

The report also examined individual app categories comprehensively. A summarized highlight of the report’s findings include:

  • Gaming: An additional $16 billion in gaming expenditure was added in 2021, bringing the total spend to $116 billion.
  • Finance: The finance app downloads in India topped one billion in 2021, which drove the category to 5.9 billion downloads worldwide.
  • Shopping: The time spent on shopping apps reached over 100 billion hours globally last year. The fastest-growing markets include Indonesia, Singapore, and Brazil (52 percent, 46 percent, and 45 percent respectively).
  • Video Streaming: The total hours spent watching video streaming apps grew by 16 percent worldwide since the pre-pandemic levels. However, China saw declines as users shifted to TikTok and Kwai. Netflix will most likely top one million downloads in more than 60 countries in 2022.
  • Food & Drink: Sessions in food and drink apps reached 62 billion in 2021. Several regions contributed to the growth in the past few months, including the US (42 percent YoY), Russia (154 percent YoY), Turkey (75 percent YoY), and Indonesia (over nine times the growth).
  • Health & Fitness: Worldwide downloads of health and fitness apps surpassed the pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Moreover, the top five meditation apps worldwide had a 27 percent YoY growth in consumer spending.
  • Social: The time spent on the top 25 live streaming apps outstripped the social market YoY by a factor of nine— year-over-year growth of 40 percent compared to all the social apps at five percent.
  • Travel: Downloads of travel apps soared by 20 percent in the second half of 2021, driven by sharp increases from July to December 2021. Downloads hit 1.95 billion globally, nearing the pre-COVID-19 levels of 2.08 billion during the same period in 2019.
  • Dating: Worldwide consumer spending on dating apps topped $4 billion in 2021, depicting a 95 percent increase.

With smartphones providing unparalleled reach and access to billions of consumers worldwide, every industry is now a mobile-focused industry. From an overall perspective, mobile app development technologies are rapidly evolving and are one of the fastest-growing segments of the global app market. Mobile application development is fueled by emerging technologies, and its related trends (as discussed above) will relatively grow based on the level of work involved.

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