A new report from Sensor Tower this week shows that in-app purchases continue to be popular among smartphone users and developers. The analytics firm says that iPhone users spent 23 percent more on in-app purchases in 2017 than they did in the prior year…

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Intelligence data from Sensor Tower reveals that the “average amount spent per active iPhone” hit a new high of $58 last year, compared to $47 in 2016. Of that $58, games contributed to about $36, followed by entertainment, music, social networking, and lifestyle applications.

These numbers includes purchases that are made through Apple’s first-party in-app purchase system, such as recurring subscriptions in apps like Netflix. It doesn’t include purchases made in apps like Uber and Amazon, which Apple doesn’t take a revenue cut of.

In terms of downloads. Sensor Tower data indicates that there was an increase of 10 percent in terms of apps downloaded per phone, with that number rising to 45 apps. “U.S. iPhone users installed an average of four more new apps in 2017 compared to the year before,” the company says.

Interestingly, photo and video app installs decreased by 10 percent year-over-year, while games increased 7 percent and lead the way:

Games again made up the largest share of those apps at just over 13 installed per device, up from 12.3 in 2016, a 7 percent increase year-over-year. Among the remaining most-downloaded categories on iPhone last year in the U.S., Entertainment grew 7 percent from 2.9 per device to 3.1 on average, and Utilities grew 4 percent from 2.3 to 2.4 per phone.

Social Networking was unchanged at 2.9 installs per device, while Photo & Video app installs per iPhone decreased 10 percent year-over-year from 4 installs to 3.6 per phone.

Sensor Tower’s data is sure not to please users who aren’t a fan of the in-app purchase pricing scheme, which has grown controversial in recent years. The model, however, has proved successful for developers.

What do you think about the growing success of in-app purchases? Let us know down in the comments!


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