Consumers in the US spent an average of $138 on iPhone apps in 2020, an increase of 38 percent year-over-year, according to new data from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
The rise in spending is driven mainly by the impacts of the pandemic during which people turned to their mobile devices for a wide array of reasons.
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The data include spending on in-app purchases and premium apps but excludes commerce apps such as Amazon, rideshare services like Uber, or other apps where purchases are not directly processed by the App Store.
Per-device spending in mobile games saw huge growth in 2020, leaping from $53.80 in 2019 to $76.80, according to Sensor Tower.
This represents year-over-year growth of 43 percent, more than 20 points higher than the 22 percent year-over-year growth seen in 2019 when in-game spending climbed from $44.
US iPhone users spent the most on Puzzle games per device, averaging $15.50 on the category, which includes titles such as Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.
The top five categories where US iPhone users spent the most on average were games, entertainment, photo and video, social networking, and lifestyle.
As people sought at-home activities and new ways to socialize with friends, mobile gaming saw a significant boost in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Stephanie Chan, Mobile Insights Strategist at Sensor Tower wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
“Along with games, per-iPhone spending in Entertainment category apps boomed during the pandemic,” she wrote.
“With the shutdown of in-person spaces such as movie theatres, many consumers turned to streaming services such as Disney+ for content.”
Average per-device spending in this category was the second-highest at $10.20, an increase of 26 percent over the $8.10 spent in 2019, showed the data.