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Tuesday, 11 September 2012 09:51

Gartner sees a future for free apps

Written by Nick Farrell



Will be nearly 90 per cent of downloads

Free apps will account for 89 percent of total downloads in 2012, according to analyst outfit Gartner. In a report Big G said that Worldwide mobile app store downloads will surpass 45.6 billion in 2012, with free downloads accounting for 40.1 billion, and paid-for downloads totalling 5 billion. 

Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner said that in terms of the apps that consumers are buying, 90 percent of the paid-for downloads cost less than $3 each. Shen said that free and lower-priced apps will drive the majority of downloads. Apps between 99 cents and $2.99 will account for 87.5 percent of paid-for downloads in 2012, and 96 percent by 2016. 

Gartner expects Apple's App Store to have more than 21 billion downloads in 2012, which is an increase of 74 percent over 2011 and indicates continued strong demand for mobile app content. Brian Blau, research director at Gartner said that Apple's market share is the largest, considering its App Store accounts for 25 percent of available apps in all stores.

He thinks that demand for apps overall will still be dominated by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Shen said that Amazon has appealed to users with its strong brand, global presence and a good selection of high-quality content. She thinks that Facebook's recently launched App Centre, which supports mobile devices and desktops, will become a powerful competitor.

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