For the first time, India installed more mobile apps than any other country in the world. Latest data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower reveals that India installed 4.5 billion apps in the first quarter of 2019, ahead of the US, which was ranked second at three billion installs.
India also witnessed the most number of new installs on Google Play Store worldwide, more than 29 percent compared to Q1 2018.
Current internet sensation TikTok was India's most-downloaded app. A separate report by App Annie had estimated that the short video creation app added 88.6 million new users from India in Q1 2019, making it the fastest-growing app here.
Along with TikTok, WhatsApp, Like, Hotstar, Facebook, Messenger, SHAREit, Helo, MX Player, and UC Browser formed the top ten.
As always, Chinese and American apps prevailed. Social and entertainment categories continued to rule the roost, with homegrown video-streaming service Hotstar breaking into the top five for the first time.
Hotstar owns the rights to two of the most talked about things on the Indian internet - IPL and Game Of Thrones. The surge in app downloads was possibly triggered by these two events.
Overall growth of apps in the country was driven by increasing smartphone penetration and dropping mobile internet rates, allowing Indians from across towns and villages to become a part of the internet ecosystem for the first time.
Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower, stated,
“The growth in app installs we're tracking in India is closely tied to the growth in new smartphone owners there, particularly Android users. Since the growth is closely tied to new smartphone users — that will be the largest factor in its stability.”
India has close to 400 million smartphone users today, and is expected to more than double that number by 2022, according to a Cisco study. More than 60 percent of the population is expected to own smartphones by then.
Besides India, other BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, and Indonesia - feature in the top five markets by app installs. China, however, was excluded from the research due to non-availability of Google Play Store in the country.