According to ABI Research, the world’s smartphone subscribers will download about 36 billion apps in 2012, resulting in almost 37 native apps through the year for the average smartphone subscriber. That’s nearly 6% increase to the 35 apps downloaded per smartphone subscriber on average in 2011.
However, the average download count will not increase substantially over the coming years and will rather start modestly decreasing. In fact, the next waves of smartphone subscribers in the more mature app markets will be downloading quite notably fewer apps than the first one-third of the mobile consumers who bought smartphones.
The major factor contributing to the downward trend in average app downloads is the evolution of mobile web. For instance, The Financial Times decided to pull the plug on its iOS app and bet instead on HTML5.
ABI’s senior analyst Aapo Markkanen argues that news and magazine apps are a segment where the momentum is likely to shift towards the web within the next two to three years. And since this type of apps already accounts for a large share of smartphone usage, it is likely to play an even bigger role in later adopters’ usage. “Changes in this segment alone will make subscribers on average download fewer native apps,” he concludes.
As usual, you can get additional information about the report from ABI Research’s website.