Global app downloads are expected to reach 160 billion by 2017, according to a new report from Juniper Research. This is up from 80 billion in 2013. The huge jump is expected as more consumers in developing markets upgrade their phones to smartphones and begin downloading apps.
The Future App Stores: Discovery, Monetisation & Ecosystem Analysis 2013 – 2018 report also found that most of these downloads will be in the games category, which is expected to own 40% of app downloads by then.
App developers should be exploring freemium monetization models, as Juniper predicts that by 2017 only 5% of apps will be paid for at the point of download, which is down from 6.1% this year. The report also predicts that the app store fronts will improve their discovery services.