Driven by the upgrading from feature-phones to smartphones by consumers.
Global app downloads onto consumer handsets and tablets are expected to reach over 160 billion in 2017, according to a report from Juniper Research.
The increase in app downloads is expected to reach 80 billion in 2013, while the share of paid apps is expected to be about 5% in 2017 that will decrease from the estimated 6.1% in 2013.
According to the report, the rise in app downloads will be driven by the upgrading from feature-phones to smartphones by many consumers in developing markets in addition to growing number of apps that can be freely downloaded.
The report forecasts that the majority of annual downloads are expected to be in the games category that will experience a 40% growth, driven by the development of social functions for games.
Recently, Google launched its Play Game Services that allow for real-time multiplayer games for Android and iOS platform, which has added to the growth along with the increasing number of free apps.
The report also added that the increase of the number of app stores has also removed many mobile network operators from the app value chain.