iPhone users spent an average of $35 on apps last year, study shows

Mobile consumers spent an average of $35 on apps per active Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone in the United States last year, according to a new study from Sensor Tower.

The mobile app store market intelligence firm reported the Games category ranked first among per-device spending last year, followed by Music, Social Networking and Entertainment apps. 

In addition, Sensor Tower found there were 10.5 Games apps downloaded on average per active iPhone in the U.S in 2015.

  • On average, Games accounted for approximately $25 of the $35 spent across the 110 million iPhones active in the U.S. during 2015. Second-place Music accounted for $3.40, or less than one sixth of Games.

  • Social Networking, Entertainment and Lifestyle rounded out the top five per-device spending categories at $1.80, $1 and $0.40 spent, respectively. 

  • Photo & Video ranked second for app installs at 3.4 apps downloaded on average per active iPhone in the U.S.

  • Social Networking ranked third for app installs with an average of 3.3 apps downloaded per device, while Entertainment and Lifestyle rounded out the top five with an average of 2.7 and 2.3 downloads per device, respectively.

Sensor Tower App Store revenue 2015

"The Games category offers developers access to not only the largest subset of app consumers, but also the one willing to spend the most on premium apps and in-app purchases (IAPs)," Randy Nelson, Sensor Tower's head of mobile insights, wrote in a blog post. "We estimate that each game install -- an average of 10.5 per device -- grosses an average of $2.43."

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) takes roughly a 30 percent cut of an iPhone developer's revenue for each app sold, according to Sensor Tower.

Regardless, the iPhone development space looks promising, and the stability of iOS 9.3 could make it easier for developers to enter this market.

Although Apple last month discovered an iOS 9.3.1 bug (and released a fix for it), iOS 9.3 appears to be a more stable OS than its predecessors, which is reflected in recent data.

San Francisco-based mobile app performance management solution provider Apteligent found "iOS 9.3 stands as Apple's most stable new release in years," despite last month's bug.

Apteligent noted the average crash rate of iOS 9.3 over an eight-day span last month was 2.2 percent, making it the most stable iOS version to date

Developers should expect the demand for iPhone apps to continue to increase as well. 

Apple in January pointed out its App Store has brought in nearly $40 billion for developers since 2008, with over one-third generated in the last year alone.