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App Downloads Top 102 Billion: Gartner

Stamford, Conn. – About 102 billion mobile apps will be downloaded this year, with total revenue generated at $26 billion, according to a Gartner study.

The 2013 figure is up from the 64 billion downloaded in 2012, and Gartner is forecasting yearly downloads of 268.7 billion by 2017. The iOS and Android ecosystems now account for 90 percent of all apps downloaded.

In 2013, 91 percent of the apps downloaded were free; this figure will climb in small increments until it reaches 94.5 percent in 2017.

However, the number of paid apps downloaded will also grow each year, but at a slower rate. The iOS and Android ecosystems now account for 90 percent of all apps downloaded.

The revenue generated by apps will continue to grow swiftly, particularly through 2014, and then modestly decline. In-app purchases will account for 17 percent of revenue this year, and this figure will increase to 48 percent by 2017. The expected modest growth to take place starting in 2015 can be attributed to smartphones becoming a standard device even for lower-income users who may not have the money to spend on in-app purchase or to buy the apps themselves.

Adding to this situation will be the fact that even those users with the expendable income are likely to have acquired all the apps they desire and will slow their purchase rates. Apple iOS app downloads will drop from an average of 4.9 per month in 2013 to 3.9 per month in 2017. Android downloads will dip from 6.2 per month to 5.8, Gartner said.