There will be just less than 46 billion mobile app downloads made this year, nearly double the 25 billion downloads in 2011 according to a new study from Gartner.
Unsurprisingly, free apps are the most popular and a whopping 89% of all apps downloaded are done so free of charge. Of the remaining paid apps, 90% are sold for less than $3.
Gartner predicts the growth of the app stores will continue to gather pace and estimates total downloads of more than 300 billion by 2016. The percentage of free apps is also expected to rise to 93% in four years time. By 2016, 30% of apps downloaded will have IAP (in app purchasing), which will account for 41% of revenues, up from 5% and 10% respectively in 2012.
Apple’s app store is still easily the most popular marketplace accounting for just lest than half the market with 21 million downloads. However, Apple’s percentage market share is set to diminish as competitors like Facebook and Amazon grow their stores.
Brian Blau, research director at Gartner says that the growth of apps is being driven by an increasing number of stores in the market today that include platform owners, device vendors and others who want to offer core mobile app services. “These stores will see their combined share of total downloads increase, but demand for apps overall will still be dominated by Apple, Google and Microsoft,” he wrote in the report.