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Apple App Store Predicted To Reach 5 M Apps By 2020

The Apple App Store will host more than 5 million active apps by the end of 2020, doubling its current number, according to new Sensor Tower research.

Illustrating the already steep growth of the App Store, Sensor Tower data shows that at the end of 2008 there were just over 5,000 active apps worldwide, growing to 1.75 million at the end of 2015, with there currently being over 2 million active apps on the store worldwide.

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Sensor Tower projects that the number of active apps will grow to 2.93 million by the end of this year.

“According to our projections, the App Store will add an additional 2.13 million apps over the next four years to contain 5.06 million active apps by the end of 2020 – doubling its size as of this report, and growing by 73 per cent over where we estimate it will be at the end of this year,” Sensor Tower states.

The Sensor Tower data shows that the games category dominated the monthly app additions in May of this year, accounting for approximately 43 per cent (20,958) of 48,231 new apps added.

The data shows that education (2,472), entertainment (2,378), business (2,247) and lifestyle (2,225) rounded out the top five.

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With so many apps being hosted on the App Store, Sensor Tower notes that discoverability presents a challenge.

“It’s clear from the difficulty developers are having getting their apps discovered on a store containing roughly 2 million apps that some significant steps on Apple’s part will be required to make discoverability viable when there are more than twice that number to contend with,” Sensor Tower states.

Sensor Tower notes “the first steps on Apple’s part to address discoverability issues”, such as “launching new categories and announcing plans for Search Ads in advance of June’s WWDC”.

“But in light of our new findings, we’re convinced that far more significant changes to the navigation, curation and overall presentation of the App Store will be needed to support an ecosystem that’s twice today’s size just four years from now,” Sensor Tower states.

Improvements likely will come in the form of user interface upgrades, while Apple’s push into machine learning could also deliver improvements, with the potential for an App Store assistant to learn from user behaviour, delivering customised recommendations, Sensor Tower notes.

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