Annual app downloads on mobile app stores will witnesses a growth of over 60 percent to reach 102 billion in 2013 from 64 billion recorded in 2012, according to a new report by Gartner. Despite the present growth, Gartner predicts that the growth will eventually slow down and the average monthly download per iOS and Android device will decline by 2017 as compared to that in 2013. Also Read - Worldwide device shipments to decline 0.3 percent this year: Gartner
While free app downloads are expected to take show significant growth, downloads for paid apps are also predicted to grow over 25 percent in 2013. Out of the total downloads of 102 billions, free apps downloads will account for 91 percent of all apps this year. The total revenue generated from app stores will significantly increase from $18 billion in 2012 to a total of $26 billion in 2013.
Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store currently have about 60 percent and 80 percent of free apps of total available apps respectively. Though these two platforms are forecasted to account for 90 percent of global downloads in 2017, the average monthly downloads are expected to decline by 2017.
“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,” says Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.
According to the report, average monthly downloads per iOS device will be down from 4.9 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2017, while average monthly downloads per Android device will decline to 5.8 in 2017, from 6.2 in 2013.
It is predicted that in-app purchases will prove to be a major monetizing method for app developers. The revenue generated from in-app purchases is expected to grow from 11 percent in 2012 to 17 percent of the app store revenue in 2013 and 48 percent by 2017. However, with decline in monthly app downloads, in-app purchases are also expected to slow down in later years. An important reason behind this slow down will be that as compared to the early adopters the mass-market consumers will neither be able to afford these apps nor would be willing to make purchases.