According to Gartner, the global mobile app store downloads are estimated to reach 17.7 billion downloads in 2011, representing a 117 percent increase from 8.2 billion downloads in 2010. Gartner further predicts that by the end of 2014, as many as 185 billion apps would have been downloaded from mobile app stores – ever since the first mobile app store was launched in July 2008.
Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner thinks that although there is a huge opportunity in this space, apps would have to become more superior in functionality and user experience.
According to Stephanie:
Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so. We strongly believe there is a sizable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a Web-based app will be able to deliver. Native apps will survive the Web enhancements only when they will provide a more-personal and richer experience to the ‘vanilla’ experience that a Web-based app will deliver.
Revenues from mobile app stores is expected to surpass $15.1 billion in 2011, marking a 190 percent increase from $5.2 billion in 2010. The $15.1 billion in app store revenues takes into account revenues from end user app buying, and purchase of virtual goods from within the apps.
A large chunk of mobile app revenues are likely to come from the sale of in-app items, since around 81 percent of all mobile app downloads in 2011 are expected to be initially free – but monetized via in-app purchases during the lifetime of the app. Gartner estimates that free downloads will decrease a little in 2011, but will start increasing again from 2012 onwards.（source：social times）