Dutch regulator orders changes to App Store, China’s app numbers dwindle, new million-dollar publisher in 2021

According to the most recent year-end reports, the app industry is growing. has a record number downloads and consumer spending in both the iOS store and Google Play store. App Annie estimates that global spending on iOS and Google Play will reach $135 billion by 2021. This figure will likely rise when the annual report includes third-party apps stores in China. It also found that consumers downloaded almost 140 billion new apps in 2018, a 10 billion increase over 2020.

Apps are more than a way to kill time. They’re also a huge business opportunity. Mobile-first companies were valued at combined $544billion in 2019, 6.5x more than those that didn’t have a mobile focus. The investment of $73 Billion in capital by investors into mobile companies in 2020 was 27% higher than the previous year.

This Week in Apps is a place to keep up to date with the fast-moving app industry. It includes news, updates and mergers and acquisitions. There are also suggestions for new apps and games.

Sensor Tower is forecasting the fact that nearly twice as many publishers are set to make their first $1million (or more) in net income per year in 2021 than in 2016. More than 900 publishers will achieve this milestone this year, nearly 91% more than the 475 who reached the milestone in 2016. It notes that this 900+ is broken down into 581 iOS and 325 Google Play.

The figure is down from last year when 1,003 publishers made their first net $1million in global revenue. Sensor Tower attributes this change to normal consumer behavior that drove installs to record levels during 2020. The report stated that 2021 consumers tried fewer apps than they did during the peak of the pandemic.

China’s laws have an impact on the availability of apps

This week, the South China Morning Post reported on China’s massive tech crackdown. It found that the number of mobile apps available has dropped 40% in the last three years since new data laws and other clean up campaigns were implemented.

According to the numbers, Chinese app stores contained 4.52 million apps as of December 2018. However, this number had fallen to 2.78 million by October 2021. The biggest drops were also observed in the last year as Beijing continued to crack down on big tech through its new data privacy laws.

The Netherlands orders Apple allow dating apps to offer other payments

The Netherlands is the latest country to regulate app stores. According to Reuters a new ruling has been issued that states Apple violated country’s competition laws through its in-app purchases policies. The case in this market is unusual because it only applies to a small segment of the app stores, specifically dating apps. Match has long been an Apple critic.

She has been advocating for new payment policies in the U.S. as well as abroad. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets has given Apple until January 15th to make App Store changes. The report states that Apple could face a fine of up to EUR50million ($56.6 million) if it fails to comply. Apple appealed against the ruling.

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