You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.S. iPhone Owners Spent $58 on Apps Last Year, More Than Half of That on Games

iPhone users in the U.S. are spending more money on apps than ever, according to new data from intelligence firm Sensor Tower. They dished out an estimated average of $58 on in-app purchases and premium apps in 2017, a 23% increase from the year before.

More than half of that money went to mobile games, Sensor Tower reported. Games contributed about $36 of the $58 spent per device (62%), up 13% from $32 in 2016. Game installs per device were also up about 12% in 2017 compared to the year before.

Now that smartphones are becoming bigger and more powerful, they’re getting games usually reserved for PCs and consoles. Epic Games recently launched a mobile version of its popular battle royale title “Fortnite,” for example, and it’s already making big profits for the company. Players spent over $1 million on in-app purchases in the first 72 hours alone.

Sensor Tower
CREDIT: Sensor Tower

“Now is a really exciting time both for gamers and game developers,” Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said during a speech at the Game Developers Conference in March. “Right now we are 10 years into the mobile gaming revolution. This is a revolution that’s brought more than 3.5 billion new computing device owners into the market in the form of smartphones and tablets and billions of new gamers. So it’s one of the greatest events in the history of the game industry.”

Sensor Tower points out that its spending data doesn’t include purchases made in shopping apps like Amazon or payments to ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. But it does include revenue earned by free-to-play mobile games and apps like Netflix and Tinder.

Outside of gaming, lifestyle apps made the most significant year-over-year increase in spending, growing 110% to an average of $2.10 per iPhone. Dating apps Tinder and Bumble were among the top earners in that category. Entertainment and social networking apps saw significant growth as well, according to Sensor Tower, rising 57% and 38%, respectively. Music apps had the smallest growth last year at 8%.

More Gaming

  • How 'Ark' Informed Massive Do-Anything Nautical

    How 'Ark' Informed Massive Do-Anything Nautical World of 'Atlas'

    The idea for “Atlas,” the recently announced massively multiplayer online pirate-themed game, came from the developers watching people play their last creation: dino-survival game “Ark.” “‘Ark’ was kind of a surprise to us in some ways; the ways the players played the game, in particular,” Jesse Rapczak, co-founder of Studio Wildcard, told Variety. “One thing we [...]

  • 'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because

    'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because 'A Lot of Things Didn't Work'

    It appears that MGM’s film adaptation of “Metro 2033” is no longer happening because “a lot of things didn’t work,” according to VG24/7. “Metro 2033” is a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was also adapted into a series of successful survival horror shooters from video game publisher THQ and developer 4A Games in [...]

  • 'Spider-Man' Cast Discuss Making a Great

    'Spider-Man' Cast Discuss Making a Great Spidey Game

    It’s hard to say that “Marvel’s Spider-Man” was robbed during last week’s Game Awards — the amazing game lost to the likes of “God of War” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” — but it’s still disappointing that such a well-conceived, excellently-executed game managed to be nominated for seven awards and take home none. Before the [...]

  • 'Monster Hunter: World' Expansion Iceborne Coming

    'Monster Hunter: World' Expansion Iceborne Coming in Fall 2019

    Capcom is working on a massive expansion for “Monster Hunter: World,” it announced on Monday. Iceborne will be available in Fall 2019 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Capcom said it will share more details about a PC release in the future. The expansion will have new quest ranks, locales, monsters, moves, and gear, as [...]

  • NinjaThe Game Awards, Show, Microsoft Theater,

    Ninja: Drake Made Gaming Cool

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is in a car headed to some sort of taping when we speak by phone. He can’t tell me where he’s headed, but even if he could, he might not exactly know. Life for the world’s most famous video gamer is at times too busy, too fantastical to completely take in. When Variety [...]

  • Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

    Capcom To Inject Sponsored Content Into 'Street Fighter V'

    Capcom is offering a free trial of “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition” this week so people can experience the game ahead of Capcom Cup 2018, it announced in a blog post on Thursday. But, there’s a catch. Sponsored content will appear within the game starting on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The ads will display in several [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content