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The most popular iPhone apps of all time

App icons at Apple's WWDC 2018.
Developers before a wall of app icons at Apple's WWDC 2018. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

App Annie is out with a fresh look at the most popular and profitable iOS apps and games of all time. It's a list that includes Clash of Clans and Candy Crush, as well as a number of apps from Facebook and Google.

Why it matters: The app economy is huge. Consumers spent $42.5 billion in the iOS App store last year.

  • Most downloaded games: Candy Crush Saga, Subway Surfers, Fruit Ninja, Clash of Clans and Honor of Kings.
  • Top-grossing games: Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Monster Strike, Puzzles & Dragons and Honor of Kings.
  • Most downloaded apps: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
  • Top-grossing apps: Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Tencent Video and Tinder.

Flashback: In 2010, when App Annie began tracking apps, 10% of apps were paid, compared to less than 1% now. And instead of games, the top-grossing apps were things like Documents To Go, Shazam and LogMeIn.

App Annie's report has a look at all the top downloaded and top-grossing apps year by year as well as a number of interesting trends over time. Here are some highlights:

  • The Asia Pacific region accounts for nearly 60% of consumer spend, compared to 27% for the Americas and 14% for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  • Games account for 31% of downloads, but three-quarters of spending.
  • More than 4.5 million apps have been released over time, three-fourths of which were games. However, the proportion of non-game apps being released is on the rise.

Still Going: App Annie projects that spending in the iOS app store will reach $75.7 billion in 2022, up 80% from 2017.

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