Total worldwide mobile app store revenue is on track to hit $US26 billion in 2013, up from $US18 billion last year, according to new market research figures from Gartner.
In total, the number of apps set to be downloaded in 2013 is expected to reach 102 billion, up from 63 billion last year, with Apple’s iTunes app store and the Google Play app store for Android dominating the market.
The number of free downloads is set to increase from 57.3 billion last year, representing 89.6% of downloads, to 92.8 billion and 91% of downloads this year.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
In contrast, the number of paid app downloads is set to increase from 6.6 billion last year to 9.1 billion.
The report also predicts strong growth for the sector going forward, with total downloads predicted to 268 billion by 2017, including 253 billion free apps and 14 billion paid apps.
“iOS and Android app stores combined are forecast to account for 90% of global downloads in 2017. These app stores are still increasingly active due to richer ecosystems and large and very active developer communities,” Gartner research director Brian Blau said.
“However, we expect average monthly downloads per iOS device to decline from 4.9 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2017, while average monthly downloads per Android device will decline from 6.2 in 2013 to 5.8 in 2017. This relates back to the overall trend of users using the same apps more often rather than downloading new ones.”
The figures also predict the percentage of app store revenue generated by in-app purchases will increase from 11% in 2012 to 48% in 2017.