We’re set to learn about Apple’s March quarter performance in detail and just ahead of the company’s earnings call, data shared by SensorTower estimates that iPad app downloads have seen solid growth amid the pandemic. That comes after they saw a steady decline for four years. Along with the uptick in downloads, iPad app Q1 revenue has crossed the $2B mark for the first time.

SenorTower’s data highlights that Apple’s fiscal Q2 (calendar Q1) has seen iPad app downloads jump to an estimated 1.16 billion, marking the highest levels seen since Q3 2016.

More significant than the 40 percent Y/Y growth in new iPad app installs in Q1 was the 52 percent quarter-over-quarter increase from Q4 2019, when the total number of downloads reached approximately 735 million globally—379 million fewer than last quarter.

China and the US drove the majority of the growth:

China was responsible for the largest number of March’s new iPad app installs at 151 million, its third best month and largest March ever. The United States saw monthly iPad app downloads surpass 100 million for the first time since January 2016 last month, a figure 47 percent higher than March 2019.

Beyond games and entertainment apps for iPad, education was the next most popular category. The record iPad app downloads meant the App Store revenue hit a new milestone of generating over $2 billion in revenue.

Along with the pandemic driving people to use iPad apps more than ever, Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard with trackpad for iPad Pro will give another boost to what customers can do on the tablet.

On the topic of how the pandemic is changing technology, SensorTower forecasts the virus to give iPad and other platforms a “lasting lift.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has clearly elevated the popularity of Apple’s tablet as a platform and made it an even more attractive target for app publishers as consumers in most markets remain in isolation for the foreseeable future. Sensor Tower forecasts that app adoption will see a lasting lift from COVID-19 beyond just Apple’s platforms, and will continue to track its impact on the wider app economy over the coming weeks and months.

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.