Ten years since its launch, Apple’s App Store has surpassed many major milestones and become the second-largest download platform after Google Play. To celebrate App Store’s anniversary, we look at the most popular iOS applications over the years.

Prior to unveiling the App Store in 2007, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs did not intend to let third-party developers build native apps for iOS, instead directing them to make software for the Safari web browser. However, after a backlash from developers, Apple reconsidered and announced it would have a software development kit for developers by February 2008.

When App Store launched on 10 July 2008, it only had 500 third-party applications for iPhone and iPod Touch. Just three days later, Apple introduced a further 300 applications, and downloads hit ten million. After two months, App Store had 3,000 available options, with downloads reaching 100 million.

Over the years, the store has surpassed significant milestones, including 50,000, 100,000, 250,000, 500,000 and one million apps. By 24 April 2009, App Store reached its billionth download.

Today, the App Store features more than two million apps, recording approximately 130 billion downloads to date.

Apple has released top ten lists for both downloads and consumer spends on apps every year since 2010. We look at each number one from both lists during the past eight years using data from App Annie.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

2010 – Talking Tom Cat and Documents To Go

Downloads: Talking Tom Cat
Talking Tom Cat, an Entertainment app from Outfit 7, was the most downloaded app in 2010. This began almost a decade of success for Outfit 7. While Talking Tom Cat has since disappeared from the top ten, Outfit 7 apps have been downloaded more than seven billion times globally to date.

Consumer spend: Documents To Go
The desktop tool is available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, providing document synchronisation between the user’s handheld device and computer. It is now known as Docs To Go and has been downloaded on millions of smartphones and tablets during the past eight years.

2011 – Facebook and Documents To Go

Downloads: Facebook
Facebook topped the worldwide downloads charts for apps excluding games in 2011. It has been in the top ten for most downloaded apps for every subsequent year. The app currently sits at number six, having recorded 29.4 million downloads during the first quarter of 2018.

Consumer spend: Documents To Go
After two years as the App Store’s number one for consumer spend, Documents To Go moved to sixth place in 2012 and then completely disappeared from the list in 2013.

2012 – Instagram and Comics

Downloads: Instagram
In 2011, Instagram entered the top ten for downloaded apps following its release in October of the previous year. By 2012, it was acquired by Facebook and Instagram had become the most downloaded app globally. While the app has not made first place again in the following years, it has remained in the top ten. In the first three months of 2018, the app was downloaded an estimated 31 million times.

Consumer Spend: Comics
A digital comic book reader was launched in July 2009 for mobile devices. The app allows users to access their digital comic collection across multiple devices. Despite being launched in 2009, the app did not appear in the top ten until 2012 when it reached number one for consumer spend. It moved to seventh place in 2013 and then dropped from the top ten list a year later.

2013 – YouTube and Pandora Music

Downloads: YouTube
With the release of iOS 6.0, YouTube no longer came pre-installed on new iPhones. In 2012, a newly released standalone version quickly became the second most-downloaded app of the year — a powerful demonstration of its promise as a video streaming platform. In 2014, the app fell to number three where it remained until 2017.

Consumer spend: Pandora Music
Pandora Music hit the number one spot for consumer spending in 2013. Pandora blazed a trail for the music industry, which has increasingly adopted the mobile platform. In 2017, apps in the music category on the iOS App Store alone generated more than $1bn in worldwide consumer spending.

2014 – Facebook Messenger and Pandora Music

Downloads: Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger immediately jumped to the top spot for downloads after it was split from the main Facebook app. Facebook Messenger and Facebook remained in the number one and two positions on the list respectively until 2017.

Consumer spend: Pandora Music
Pandora Music remained at number one for consumer spend applications for two years before falling to second place in 2015, and then to slots six and five in 2016 and 2017 respectively. On the 2018 list, Pandora Music occupies sixth place.

2015 – Facebook Messenger and Spotify

Downloads: Facebook Messenger
In 2015, Facebook Messenger again achieved the most global downloads and reached the top spot.

Consumer spend: Spotify
After featuring in the top ten for the first time in 2014, Spotify made it to number one in 2015. It remained the most popular consumer spend app until 2017.

2016 – Facebook Messenger and Spotify

Downloads: Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger held the number one spot for downloads for three years, before dropping to second place in 2017 and it currently occupies number three. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, the app has been downloaded an estimated 31.3 million times.

Consumer spend: Spotify
After two years of holding the number one spot in the top ten list, Spotify lost its place in 2017 and failed to make the top ten in 2018.

2017 – YouTube and Netflix

Downloads: YouTube
YouTube returned to the most global downloads in 2017. Currently, the app sits in second place.

Consumer spend: Netflix
Launched in 2007, the video streaming service entered the top ten in consumer spend apps in 2016 at number two. The next year, Netflix made it to the top, which it still holds.

2018 – Tik Tok and Netflix

Downloads: Tik Tok
Known as Douyin in China, Tik Tok is a music video and social media app. It lets users shoot and edit short clips and then add music and special effects to them. The app entered the top ten in 2018 and immediately reached the number one spot by global downloads. Tik Tok has recently announced that it has more than 150 million daily users in mainland China alone.

Consumer spend: Netflix
Netflix kept its number one position for iOS App Store consumer spend in 2018, in part driven by its continued international expansion. As of this month, Netflix is leading the revenue generation on iOS as it closes in on the $1bn mark.