ChatGPT hit 5 million app downloads in only three weeks…but how does it stack up against the competition?

Generative AI large language model and OpenAI’s global phenomenon, ChatGPT, hit global app stores late last month and in just three weeks has surpassed 5 million downloads across the iOS and Google Play stores.

Early May saw a litany of generative AI large language models (LLMs) create mobile apps available for download on iOS and Google Play stores, with ChatGPT following suit at the end of the month.

ChatGPT was among the last of the major LLMs to hit app stores, dropping on iOS and Google Play on 18 May – but in just three weeks saw 5 million downloads.

PMW got the raw data to uncover how the Microsoft-backed model’s introduction to mobile compares to its competition – including Bing, Ask AI and newest contender Character AI.

All data was supplied to PMW by and is accurate as of 3 June 2023.

Ask AI leads the download charge

Ask AI was among the first LLM to recognise the potential benefits of the mobile medium, launching in app stores on 1 May and enjoying nine million downloads in just over a month.

As of 3 June, Character AI and Bing rounded out the top three most cumulatively downloaded chatbot apps, with 8.8m and 5.9m respectively. Interestingly, Character AI was the last of the chatbots to launch an app, first hitting stores on 24 May 24 – a week after ChatGPT – and has exploded ever since.

Character AI is currently achieving downloads at a rate that may soon see it become the industry leader – 90% of which have come from the Google Play store.

The App Store opportunity

Hitting app stores appears to be a crucial move for LLMs like ChatGPT, with 92% of time spent on mobile devices occurring in apps and games as opposed to mobile web browsers, according to

Interestingly, the Google Play store –- the predominant caterer of apps to the Android market outside of China– - appears to hold the greatest opportunity for generative AI success, with 75% of app and game downloads in Q1 2023 globally, coming from Google Play.

Ask AI leads the UK market

In the UK, Ask AI is unsurprisingly the most downloaded, having been available the longest, with 767,000 cumulative downloads since its launch on 1 May. Character AI is second in this category, with over 400,000 downloads since its launch, overtaking ChatGPT which sits in third place with 351,000 downloads as of 3 June.

US market dominates ChatGPT downloads

Having launched in the US a week before hitting other geographical markets, the US predictably has the most ChatGPT cumulative downloads, with over 120,000 on launch day.

Brazil can boast the second place silverware in terms of ChatGPT popularity, with just over 80,000 downloads on launch day, followed by India rounding out the top three.

The UK is lagging slightly behind but has remained consistent at around 20,000 cumulative downloads a day.

What this all means for the generative AI LLM market is that app stores clearly have scope to develop a significant base of mobile users, and marketers should be wary of who is dominating and try to identify why.

Character AI’s burst onto the scene has taken some by surprise but represents nothing more than the LLM best optimised for the mobile experience. As we know, optimising for your users is one of the best ways to quickly grow your audience, so marketers operating within this space should remain aware of the mobile AI-arms race as it continues to unfold.