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App Downloads to Surpass 45.6bn by 2012, says Gartner

Kirsty Styles

iOS will account for nearly half of all downloads in 2012, according to Gartner, despite Apple's App Store only supplying 25 per cent of available apps. Download volume is expected to increase 74 per cent over the course of the year.

Across platforms, meanwhile, free apps will account for 89 per cent of downloads in 2012, following an upward trend which they expect will see 93 per cent of apps available for free by 2016. Gartner expects the number of downloads with in-app purchase options will increase from 5 per cent in 2011 to 30 percent in 2016. The freemium model will drive 41 per cent of store revenues in 2016.

App downloads will surpass 45.6bn in 2012, with free downloads accounting for 40.1 billion, and paid-for downloads totaling a relatively meager 5bn. Total downloads in 2016 will be 309.6bn – more than six times today's figures.

The Market Trends: Mobile App Stores, Worldwide report praises Amazon for "its strong brand, global presence and a good selection of high-quality content" and considers Facebook "a powerful competitor due to its strong brand and leading position in social networking and gaming", but expects Apple, Microsoft and Google to continue to dominate.

“The number of apps available is driven by an increasing number of stores in the market today that include platform owners, device vendors, communication service providers (CSPs) and others who want to offer core mobile app services,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. “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.”


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