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App store spend to top $6 billion this year

by Scott Bicheno on 18 January 2010, 10:33

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Going exponential

Market researcher Gartner has published a study predicting consumers will spend $6.2 billion in mobile application stores this year, while mobile advertising revenue is expected to top $600 million worldwide. Total downloads will top 4.5 billion, of which 80 percent will be free.

This is just the start however, with most app stores only having been in existence for a short time. Gartner forecasts exponential growth for the trend, with total downloads expected to top 21 billion by 2013, yielding almost 30 billion in revenue, of which a quarter will come from advertising sponsorship of free apps.

"As smartphones grow in popularity and application stores become the focus for several players in the value chain, more consumers will experiment with application downloads," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "Games remain the No. 1 application, and mobile shopping, social networking, utilities and productivity tools continue to grow and attract increasing amounts of money."

This growth will be driven by the rapid uptake of high-end smartphones, which define the market for mobile apps. "Growth in smartphone sales will not necessarily mean that consumers will spend more money, but it will widen the addressable market for an offering that will be advertising-funded," said Baghdassarian. "The value chain of the application stores will evolve as rules are set and broken in an attempt to find the most profitable business model for all parties involved."

Mobile Application Stores' Number of Downloads and Revenue, Worldwide





Downloads (in M)




Total revenue (in $M) 




Source: Gartner (December 2009)


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