Worldwide mobile application store downloads are forecast to reach 17.7 billion downloads in 2011, a 117% increase from an estimated 8.2 billion downloads in 2010, according to Gartner.
By the end of 2014, Gartner forecast over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded from mobile app stores, since the launch of the first one in July 2008.
Worldwide mobile application store revenue is projected to surpass $15.1bn in 2011, both from end users buying applications and applications themselves generating advertising revenue for their developers. This is a 190% increase from 2010 revenue of $1.4bn.
Gartner analysts said the hype around application stores in 2009 continued through 2010 with alternative offerings to the Apple App Store gaining some traction. Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) App World, Microsoft Marketplace and Samsung Apps are the key competitors that saw the number of application downloads grow in 2010.
Free downloads are forecast to account for 81% of total mobile application store downloads in 2011. This percentage has been decreasing since the first launches in 2008, and Gartner estimates free downloads will continue to decrease in 2011, but it will increase again from 2012 through 2014.
In 2010, application stores’ revenue is estimated to have reached $5.2bn, both from end users buying applications and applications generating advertising revenue for their developers. The growth between 2010 and 2014 is forecast be more than 1,000%.
According to Gartner, application stores’ revenue is split between the store owners (such as Apple, in the case of the App Store, or RIM, in the case of App World) and the application’s developer.
The average revenue share is based on a 70/30 split, with 70% going to the developer. By the end of 2014, advertising will be generating a little under a third of the revenue generated by application stores, up from 16% in 2010.