Our world and all the events that comprise it, seem to be divided into before and after – life before the pandemic vs. after, that is. By default, we seem to look at everything trough this filter. It’s just the way we think now.
Take, for instance, the mobile application industry, which had already made a significant market entry well before most people knew the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic (we do now). Users, studies show, were spending about 87% of their time on apps, rather than directly on the web.
Here’s what we’ll look at today:
- What does it all point to?
- Industries that are expected to win big
- Businesses and Remote Working
- Media and Entertainment
- Digital Payments
- The future of app development
First, let’s look at what happened après the deluge
The pandemic has largely benefitted the app-development community. As people embrace a socially-distanced and remote lifestyle, apps that enable people to work, entertain, buy or learn online are now in demand. Healthcare, of course, has been a big demand in apps was well – Covid tracing being a good example of that.
While sectors like travel and tourism, hospitality, aviation, mass entertainment took quite a beating during the course of the pandemic, other fields such as lifestyle, multimedia, e-learning and e-commerce have seen huge profits and an ever-expanding user base. In fact, most of the users access these applications on their cellular devices. In an isolated, quarantined world, the mobile phone assumed center stage. It took on roles that were thought to be impossible a decade ago. Be it for work-from-home or for entertainment purposes, mobile devices have become that one device which people remained tethered to at all times.
From apps that support instant messaging, video and audio calls, registering for vaccines to ones that help in streaming movies and playing games, there is a lot that is keeping both the industry and our lives afloat even in times as testing as the one that we are currently in. Smartphones and the associated applications have enabled the digitalization of various aspects of our lives including retail shopping, banking, classroom education and food delivery so much that it has eased the transition from physical to virtual media. The advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science has contributed to the development of smarter and powerful mobile applications.
In short, the pandemic may just have accelerated the exponential growth of the mobile app industry.
Currently there are 3.6 billion smartphone users in the world. These numbers are expected to reach a whopping 4.3 billion by 2023. Mobile app revenues are expected to reach USD 935 billion by the end of 2023. Although the number of smartphones sold to users had slumped in 2020 by a huge margin, the numbers are expected to rise by 1535 million units by the end of 2021. The number of apps on the playstore have been reduced to 2.9 million in 2021 from the highest recorded 3.6 million back in 2018. However, this was due to a purge in 2018 where Google removed all harmful or deceiving apps from the Playstore. Consumers have been spending close to USD 143 billion on apps with cumulative downloads reaching almost 220 billion in 2020. According to App Annie’s “The State of Mobile 2021” report, the global pandemic didn’t really slow down the growth of the mobile development industry but rather “an acceleration of mobile usage habits by 2 to 3 years”.