Is India’s App Consolidation Right Around the Corner?

The increase in app spends indicates the rising maturity of consumers in India. So, what’s next?

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  • In 2023, Indian users spent almost 1.1 trillion hours on mobile apps, up from 800 billion the previous year. In 2022, Indians spent 8.7 billion hours using shopping apps, up 16% from 7.5 billion hours in 2021.

    Indians downloaded fewer apps in 2023, but spent more on them, according to an analysis of download estimates from app intelligence provider,, shared with Moneycontrol. On average, Indians spent about 42 minutes daily on their favourite apps compared to an average of 25 minutes globally. 

    The amount of money spent on apps is projected to reach around $800 billion (₹64 lakh crore) by 2030, and given that the Indian economy is expected to be around $6,600 billion by 2030, the app spending is likely to be around 12 per cent of the GDP, according to some sources. Google Play registered $ 404.2 million in app spend until November 2023 while the App Store accumulated $ 143.4 million, taking the overall mobile app spend $ 547.6 million,

    The circumstances are right to fuel growth. Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a “Fintech revolution” in India with a “security shield”, primarily to be driven by income, investments, insurance, and institutional credit. This is noteworthy because India has the highest Fintech adoption rate in the world – at 87% – and significantly higher than the global average rate of 64%.  

    According to Adjust data, app instals and sessions increased by 6% and 22% in 2022, bucking global trends. This growth has continued into 2023, with January instals 2% higher than the Q4 2022 average. Further, Apptopia data revealed that mobile games were India’s most downloaded app category in 2022, with over seven billion downloads across all platforms. 

    Also Read: Why Should Mobile Marketing Be Your Number One Focus?

    Utility apps took second place with over a billion downloads, followed by shopping, social network, and communication apps. For iOS, the ranking was slightly different, with photography coming in second, followed by fintech, utilities, and shopping.

    Surprisingly, WhatsApp with over 480 million users, is the biggest social media in India. Meta has expanded its offerings in India due to its extensive user base. The Indian government collaborated with Meta in May 2022 to develop a method for verifying digital documents via WhatsApp. 

    Notable players include JioCinema, which saw a massive surge in popularity this year primarily due to free IPL streaming, took the fifth place with 125.9 million instals. It was the only app among the top 10 Android apps in 2023 that witnessed an increase in its app instals. Among the others, Meesho stood at the third spot with 146.1 million instals and PhonePe at the sixth spot with 113.5 million instals. Flipkart took the seventh spot with 110.5 million instals while its value commerce platform Shopsy took the ninth spot with 103.7 million instals.

    It’s hard to be good at everything. This is the consolidation phase. At this point we will start to see apps that provide multiple functions instead of niche functions. There are a few apps that currently have multiple functions now but none of them execute multiple functions as well as the niche players execute their single function. Is this uniquely part of the India story or a recurring global trend?   


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