User spending on App Store and Google Play apps and games hit almost $40 billion in the first half of the year, up 15.4 per cent year-on-year, Sensor Tower estimated.

The research company placed App Store ahead, with consumers laying out $25.5 billion globally during the period, well ahead of the $14.2 billion spent by Google Play users. However, roles were reversed in terms of year-on-year growth, with Apple’s figure 13.2 per cent higher versus a 19.6 per cent rise for the Google platform.

Sensor Tower’s figures also highlighted something of a weakening in rate of growth: during H1 2018 users spent $34.4 billion, up 27.8 per cent year-on-year.

During the recent period, dating app Tinder was the highest-grossing non-gaming app with users across both stores spending $497 million. Netflix ranked second achieving $399 million, with the research company noting the streaming service suffered from a decision to remove subscriptions from iOS versions of the app (it topped the category at end H1 2018).

Tencent Video ranked third, based on spending outside its domestic Chinese market, with iQIYI and YouTube rounding out the top five.

Gaming spend was dominated by Tencent’s Honour of Kings, which raked in $728 million globally to remain the top-yielding app in the category (again based on sales outside China). Sony Aniplex’ Fate/Grand Order generated $628 million, followed by Monster Strike (by Mixi), Candy Crush Saga (King) and PUBG Mobile (Tencent).