Global App Downloads To Surpass 45.6 Billion In 2012: Free-App To Account 89% Of Total Downloads

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Apple App Store and Google Play store has already made stronghold in the global app market. Both the app stores have already surpassed 20 billion downloads and also having more than 5,00,000 apps in their app store. Indiscriminately, both (Google and Apple) has made a strong ecosystem around and it seems tougher for third party to compete with these two potent rivals.

Despite, there are lots of third-parties app stores in the market that are attracting users. Here, I’m not considering Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace, which has recently reported 100,000 apps in its app store, as third party app store. Considering to Amazon, which has enticed a significant number of users with its strong brand, good selection of high quality contents and global presence. On the other side, Facebook has recently launched its own App Store and it could be a potent rival for Google play Store and Apple App Store due to its strong brand and leading position in social and networking gaming.

According to Gartner‘s recent report, over 45.6 billion apps would be downloaded in 2012; free app will account for 89% of total apps download, an equivalent to 40.1 billion. Among all apps download, just 5 billion apps download will be ‘paid-for’ and 90% of the paid-for apps will cost less than$3.

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Apple’s App Store is expected to record more than 21 billion apps downloads in 2012, up 74% compare to the previous year. It’s quite clear, how Apple has created strong demand for mobile apps content in the market and its app store is currently accounting for 25% of total apps available in all stores. Increasing number of app stores has created an app development ecosystem around.

Now-a-days, in-app purchase business model has become one of the effective method for generating paying customers around the world. The method has continuously been making its presence in the market with good user experiences and continued product updates. The approach is considered better than “upfront payment” method, where users can only download after payment. In upfront payment system, if once customers get disappointed by the experience, then they don’t prefer to come back.

By 2016, in-app purchase is expected to drive 41% of the total app stores’ revenue despite of the market’s shift towards free and low-priced apps. In-app featuring download is expected to grow 30% in 2016 compare to 5% in 2011, while its contribution to app stores’ revenue to grow from 10% in 2011 to 41% in 2016.

It’s clear that in-app purchasing shows up a door for developers to generate revenue. However, apps design and performance are also playing vital role for drawing an attention of users. I think, Apple App Store would like to support ‘in-app purchase’ soon to attract developers and monetize its platform by upgraded services and functionality.

Image courtesy: Gartner

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