— Mobile

US iPhone users spent an average of $138 on apps in 2020, will grow to $180 in 2021 – TechCrunch

According to new data from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, U.S. consumers spent an average of $138 on iPhone apps last year, an increase of 38% year over year, primarily driven by the pandemic impacts. Throughout 2020, consumers turned to iPhone apps for work, school, entertainment, shopping, and more, driving per-user spending to a new record and the most significant annual growth since 2016, when it had then popped by 42% year over year.

Sensor Tower tells TechCrunch it expects the trend of increased consumer spending to continue in 2021 when it projects consumer spend per active iPhone in the U.S. to reach an average of $180. This will again be tied, at least in part, to the lift caused by the pandemic — and, particularly, the lift in pandemic-fueled spending on mobile games.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Last year’s increased spending on iPhone apps in the U.S. mirrored global trends, which saw consumers spend a record $111 billion on both iOS and Android apps, per Sensor Tower, and $143 billion, per App Annie, whose analysis had also included some third-party Android app stores in China.

In terms of where U.S. iPhone consumer spending was focused in 2020, the largest category was, of course, gaming. In the U.S., per-device spending on mobile games grew 43% year over year from $53.80 in 2019 to $76.80 in 2020. That’s more than 20 points higher than the 22% growth seen between 2018 and 2019 when in-game spending grew from $44 to $53.80.

U.S. users spent the most money on puzzle games, like Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes, which may have helped take people’s minds off the pandemic and its related stresses. That category averaged $15.50 per active iPhone, followed by casino games, which averaged $13.10, and was driven by physical casinos closures. Strategy games also saw a surge in spending in 2020, growing to an average of $12.30 per iPhone user spending.

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