App Downloads to Double in Next Four Years

Apps that drive mobile communication will drive a market in apps that’s expected to double by 2017.

In May 2013, Google announced one million apps and games were available in Google Play, a 43% increase from 700,000 in October 2012. Apple reached the one million milestone in October, and while its growth was slower than Google’s, the increase in available apps was equally significant (43% over October 2012).

Research firms project the annual total will increase substantially in the coming years as smartphone and tablet usage grows worldwide. Portio Research estimated the number of annual downloads would top 200 billion in 2017—two-and-a-half times 2013’s 82 billion. Juniper Research forecast the number of downloads worldwide would double in the span of four years, rising from 80 billion to 160 billion between 2013 and 2017.

By a large margin, browsing the app store is the most common method consumers use to find new apps. In March 2013 polling, InMobi found that just over half (55%) of U.S. smartphone users typically browsed the app store to find new mobile apps. Roughly one in three sought out apps that were personally recommended to them. In terms of frequency, nearly one in four searched for new apps daily, and a similar share (26%) hunted for new apps weekly.

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