Juniper Research expects over 160 billion smartphone and tablet apps to be downloaded globally in 2017, according to its latest report. That’s double this year’s forecast total of 80 billion applications.
The report says much of this increase has resulted from consumers in developing markets upgrading from featurephones to smartphones, along with the growing number of ‘free’ apps. Only 5% of all apps will be paid for at the point of download in 2017, down from 6.1% this year.
Gaming is expected to account for the largest share of annual downloads in the future, with at least 40% of all app downloads being free or paid-for games.
Meanwhile, the challenge of monetising applications - both for developers and mobile network operators - remains.
Siân Rowlands, research analyst at Juniper Research and the author of the report, said “carrier billing has become an increasingly viable option for MNOs who want to see a share of app store revenues, and also for app stores who want to distribute their content to unbanked consumers. However, MNOs must realise they won’t see as great a revenue share as they did during the pre-app store era”.