Global mobile app downloads are expected to reach 102bn by the end of the year, according to Gartner's latest report.
The analysts predict a 59.4% rise from the 64bn downloads in 2012.
The new report outlines that free apps would drive the market, accounting for 91% of total downloads during the year, while in-app purchases (IAPs) are expected to account for 17% of overall revenue.
Gartner research director Sandy Shen said that there would be a growth in downloads throughout 2014, but that it is forecast to slow down in later years.
"The average downloads per device should be high in early years as users get new devices and discover the apps they like," Shen said.
"Over time they accumulate a portfolio of apps they like and stick to, so there will be moderate numbers of downloads in the later years."
The research firm also projects that the annual app downloads would reach 268.7bn, with 94.5% accounted by free app downloads, while in-app purchase revenues would account for 48% of revenues.
Gartner research director Brian Blau said free apps currently account for about 60% and 80% of the total available apps in Apple's App Store and Google Play, respectively.
"iOS and Android app stores combined are forecast to account for 90 percent of global downloads in 2017," Blau said.
"These app stores are still increasingly active due to richer ecosystems and large and very active developer communities.
"However, we expect average monthly downloads per iOS device to decline from 4.9 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2017, while average monthly downloads per Android device will decline from 6.2 in 2013 to 5.8 in 2017."
The majority of Apple's App Store revenue from iPhones globally would be contributed by IAP, he added..
"We see that users are not put off by the fact that they have already paid for an app, and are willing to spend more if they are happy with the experience, Blau said.
"As a result, we believe that IAP is a promising and sustainable monetisation method because it encourages performance-based purchasing; that is, users only pay when they are happy with the experience, and developers have to work hard to earn the revenue through good design and performance."