Pokemon Go was all that and a bag of chips in a year when Apple had so many potato snacks it swam in them Scrooge McDuck style.
Pokemon Go was the most-downloaded app on Apple’s App Store in 2016, the company announced to absolutely nobody’s surprise.
Apple didn’t give any solid numbers with this info, unfortunately, but Pokemon Go hit 75 million downloads in its launch month of July despite a distinct lack of fanfare over its release, and dominated revenue and download charts for months.
Super Mario Run, which out-performed Pokemon Go at launch, came in at 10th place on the App Store’s 2016 charts, even though it only released in December.
Apple said Super Mario Run, which was promoted by Nintendo and Apple with mainstream TV appearances among other marketing, broke all App Store launch records with 40 million downloads in just four days after its release, and was the most downloaded app globally on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
If Super Mario Run can continue that level of performance it will easily overtake Pokemon Go, although I don’t know if the runner has the same viral appeal of Niantic’s phenomenon. Investors don’t seem very impressed with the game, unfortunately, but Super Mario Run has generated 3 million full sales from its 90 million downloads, which is “only” a 3% conversion rate but accounts for $30 million in revenue.
Anyway: we don’t know how wide the gap is between Pokemon Go at number one and Super Mario Run in tenth spot, but since Pokemon Go hit 100 million downloads in August and we haven’t had an update since then, it might not be especially wide (or it might be enormous, who even knows). It’s also worth noting that Super Mario Run is not on Android yet, and when it hits Google’s platform we can probably expect a huge surge.
Apple did not provide a full top ten chart for most downloaded apps on the App Store but did namedrop Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro as being “among the most successful apps for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac, respectively”.
There are now 2.2 million apps on the App Store, up 20% on last year, and Apple had a record-breaking holiday season with $3 billion in App Store purchases in December 2016 alone.
Developer earnings for the year total rose 40% year-on-year from 2015 to over $20 billion, a third of the platform’s lifetime total of $60 billion.
The App Store then had its busiest single day ever on New Year’s Day with $240 million in purchases, so 2017 is looking bright.