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The Mobile Minute: App Downloads to Hit 100 Billion

Posted on 11/6/2013 by in Mobile Apps Reasons to go Mobile Mobile App Minute

That’s right. 100 billion. With a “B.” According to new projections from Gartner, app downloads this year will total roughly 102 billion, representing an almost 60% year-over-year gain from 2012. App store revenue will rise, too, moving from $18 billion to $26 billion, in total. How will all of this activity break down?

Paid vs. Free

As expected, most of the downloads will be free apps. About 91%, in fact. It’s just hard for users to say, “No” to free. Interestingly, Gartner expects this percentage to increase slightly in favor of free apps over the next few years, growing by about 1% each year. This would put free apps at 94.5% in 2017! Paying to download an app, it appears, is not going to become any more fashionable than it is today.

When are downloads most frequent?
Download activity on any particular device is highest towards the launch date. As Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner explains, “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.”

For businesses publishing their own apps, this means that the best time to release an app is as close to the release date for a particular device as possible.

iOS and Android are still the leading app platforms available. But, in accordance with the download frequency being highest for a device in the months after launch, average monthly downloads per device are expected to decrease on these platforms over time.

In-App Purchases
Currently, in-app purchases are highest on iPhone. And in the aggregate market, in-app purchasing currently accounts for about 17% of annual app store revenue. Gartner projects that this number will reach 48%, however, in 2017. The increase will be due mainly to smartphones penetrating the mass market audience, where willingness to spend on in-app purchases is expected to improve.

Takeaways for businesses
As always, the main takeaway is that mobile app popularity continues to skyrocket. The numbers don’t lie – mobile app activity is hotter than ever before, and “record temperatures” are expected to be posted daily for years to come.

For businesses on the fence about issuing a mobile app or website, the message is still quite clear: everyone is on their mobile device, and you should be there, too!

Yes, I’d like to go mobile and get learn more about 529 Mobile Apps!