Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, released its latest prediction on mobile app downloads for this year which shows a huge increase from last year’s results. The company says that there will be 102 billion downloads from mobile app stores this year. This is a 59.38% increase from last year’s 64 billion downloads.
Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said that “We expect strong growth in downloads through 2014, but growth is forecast to slow down a bit in later years. The average downloads per device should be high in early years as users get new devices and discover the apps they like. Over time they accumulate a portfolio of apps they like and stick to, so there will be moderate numbers of downloads in the later years.”
Revenue is expected to increase from $18 billion last year to $26 billion this year. Most of the growth will come from three of the major app stores which are the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Windows Phone Store.
Free apps are also going to become popular this year as it will account for 91% of all mobile app installations with this figure increasing to 94.5% by 2017. Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, said that “free apps currently account for about 60 percent and 80 percent of the total available apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, respectively. iOS and Android app stores combined are forecast to account for 90 percent of global downloads in 2017. These app stores are still increasingly active due to richer ecosystems and large and very active developer communities. However, we expect average monthly downloads per iOS device to decline from 4.9 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2017, while average monthly downloads per Android device will decline from 6.2 in 2013 to 5.8 in 2017. This relates back to the overall trend of users using the same apps more often rather than downloading new ones.”
In-app purchases will also continue to grow with Apples’ App Store getting a huge chunk of the revenue. This year alone it will account for 17 percent of the mobile app store revenue and is expected to increase to 48 percent in 2017.