A new survey from Gartner has predicted that the number of mobile phone application downloads will surpass 45.6 billion by 2012. The research, featured in the Market Trends: Mobile App Stores Worldwide report, investigated the growth potential of the market. The study discovered that the volume of downloaded apps would increase by 74 per cent across 2011-2012.
Across all platforms, over 40.1 billion free apps will be accessed in 2012. Paid-for apps will total 5 billion downloads. By 2016, the total number of apps downloaded will be 309.6 billion.
Speaking about the research, Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, commented:
“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.
“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.”
The research from Gartner sheds some interesting light onto the continuing popularity of the mobile app market. More consumers are using their mobile phones for shopping or customer service, although they are unwilling to purchase applications in order to do so. Indeed, budget airline Ryanair recently attracted criticism for charging customers £2.49 for downloading the company’s smartphone application.
Consumers feel that apps which allow them to contact companies for customer service or shopping should be free. One blogger commenting on the issue said:
“Why pay to buy from a company, when you can do so for free elsewhere?”
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