Powering the global app economy: Android and Google Play’s contributions

Powering the global app economy: Android and Google Play’s contributions

The global economy has undergone exponential growth in recent years, fueled in part by a surge in app usage and how apps have transformed the way we live, work, and interact with one another. In 2022 alone, it is estimated that 255 billion apps were downloaded worldwide, outlining how the app economy is encouraging innovation and creating a wealth of opportunities.[1] Android and Google Play have been key drivers of this growth, fostering a booming app ecosystem.

The Android ecosystem thrives on a network of key stakeholders. At its core are: device manufacturers who integrate the free and open-source Android operating system into their smartphones, TVs, watches, and more; businesses (including smaller ones) that create the vast library of apps accessed by consumers on their devices; and consumers who benefit from expanded choices and access to information on their affordable Android devices.

This report outlines Android and Google Play’s contributions to improving choice, access, and safety:[2]

  • Enabling choice: Android and Google Play facilitate choice, cost savings, and convenience for device makers, businesses, and consumers. Consumers benefit from expanded choices of devices, app stores, and high-quality apps. Android device makers – able to offer a wide range of affordable devices – are estimated to have saved USD33 billion to date in development and operating costs.[3] Meanwhile, app developers may choose to publish their apps on multiple app stores available on Android devices, with consumers offered the same degree of choice on where to download their apps. 80% of Android devices have at least one app installed outside of Google Play.[4]
  • Facilitating access: Android facilitates consumers’ access to connectivity and Google Play facilitates businesses’ access to international markets. The average cost of an Android phone can account for as little as 0.4% of an individual’s average annual income, making smartphones and the accompanying benefits of Internet connectivity highly accessible.[5] Meanwhile, Google Play enables developers to access overseas markets, with up to 79% of developers’ revenue via Google Play earned from overseas consumers, depending on the country. This access has also allowed over 1.4 million small app developers to compete internationally.[6]
  • Enhancing safety: Android and Google Play create a safe and secure environment for app developers and consumers to interact online. Both platforms have substantially invested in tools, features, policies, and processes that protect Android users against online harms. For example, Google Play Protect scans over 125 billion apps daily for malicious or harmful content, regardless of where the app was downloaded from.[7] Moreover, Google Play’s billing system prevented over USD 2 billion in fraudulent transactions in 2022.[8] Android’s safety features also extend to the physical world, with 99% of Android devices equipped with an emergency location service.[9]

A strong and resilient app economy will be instrumental in driving overall economic development. By prioritising interoperability, ecosystem collaboration, and consumer empowerment, Android and Google Play will continue to play a substantial role in providing the necessary mechanisms to foster growth and access so that the benefits of technology continue to reach the greater majority.

Download the full report and key findings by clicking on the links below:

Download the report in English

Download key report findings


[1] Statista (2023), “Number of mobile app downloads worldwide from 2016 to 2022”. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/271644/worldwide-free-and-paid-mobile-app-store-downloads/
[2] This report has been prepared by Access Partnership for Google. Much of the information in this report has been derived or estimated by Access Partnership using publicly available information. Google has, in some instances, supplied internal data for the purposes of the report, and in these instances, the data has been attributed to Google in the footnotes. The conclusions and opinions expressed are exclusively those of Access Partnership, and Google does not endorse any estimates made in the report.
[3] Access Partnership analysis using publicly available data.
[4] Based on Google’s internal 2023 data that excludes preloaded apps.
[5] Access Partnership analysis using publicly available data.
[6] Access Partnership analysis of Data.ai data. Small developers are defined as those individuals and firms who earn less than USD1 million in revenue per year.
[7] Google for developers (n.d.), “Google Play Protect”. Available at: https://developers.google.com/android/play-protect
[8] Google Security Blog (2023), “How we fought bad apps and bad actors in 2022”. Available at:
[9] Android (n.d.), “Find the people who need your help, faster”. Available at: https://www.android.com/safety/emergency-help/emergency-location-service/

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