According to a recent report by Juniper Research, over 160 billion apps will be downloaded globally in 2017, up from 80 billion in 2013. This sharp rise is explained with more users in developing markets upgrading from feature phones to smartphones, as well as a growing number of apps downloaded at no upfront cost.
The research firm found that the majority of annual downloads will be in the games category, with at least 40% of downloads arising from this area.
At the same time, app stores will seek to improve the experience by developing social functions for gameplay. Apple already has something like this and Google has recently unveiled Google Play Game Services to real-time multiplayer games and leader boards.
On the other hand, developers will have hard time making money as the downward pressure on pricing leaves many the only option to offer their apps for free at the point of download. In fact, Juniper predicts that only 5% of apps will be paid for at the point of download in 2017, down from 6.1% this year.
At the same time, app stores have also cut many operators out of the value chain though carrier billing helps them [carriers] stay relevant… Additional information, in case you need ’em, are available from the full report.