According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of mobile application downloads worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 56.6 percent between 2010 and 2015 to reach 98 billion at the end of the period. Berg Insight estimates that revenues from paid applications, in-app purchases and subscription services – so called direct revenues – reached € 1.6 billion in 2010. Berg Insight forecasts direct app store revenues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40.7 percent to reach € 8.8 billion in 2015. Apple’s iOS is the current leader in direct monetisation of mobile applications and will keep the number one position during the forecast period. The Android and Windows Phone operating systems are anticipated to be number two and three respectively in 2015.
“Even though the download numbers will increase during the forecast period, most apps are free to download and app monetisation will be a challenge for developers”, said Johan Svanberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. “Free to download monetisation strategies such as in-app advertising and in-app purchasing will be increasingly important. This is especially true in the APAC region, which will account for over 40 percent of all mobile app downloads in 2015.” He adds that for the next coming years, the native mobile app is here to stay. New web technologies such as HTML5 are promising and will eventually be relevant alternatives to native apps. It is also important to remember that web apps and native apps are not mutual exclusives and publishers looking for maximizing reach should develop for the web as well as for the major mobile platforms.