According to the latest market study by Portio Research, the all-time cumulative total number of downloads stood at 37 billion at the end of 2011, but reached 83 billion by the end of 2012 -- that's more than doubling in one year. Moreover, this doubling is forecast to happen again in 2013.
Their forecasts show that 2013 will see 82 billion apps downloaded worldwide, taking the cumulative total to 165 billion apps by the end of the year. Revenues are set to grow too, after 2012 saw app revenues of $12 billion, in 2013 they forecast worldwide app revenues to reach $20.4 billion.
From this doubling of the apps business in 2013, Portio forecasts that downloads will continue to grow to exceed 200 billion per year by the end of 2017, and revenues in 2017 will reach $63.5 billion.
While worldwide the mobile subscriber base is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 percent over the period 2012 to 2017, and annual handset shipments are expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.6 percent over the same time frame, apps downloads are forecast to grow at 35.9 percent CAGR.
According to the Portio assessment, in mature markets, usage of apps per person is starting to level off, in Europe and North America, the number of apps downloaded per person is reaching a stable level. What’s driving the growth in the app download business is the rapid growth in smartphone and tablet sales.
Smartphone shipments worldwide are expected to reach 823 million this year, in 2013. Smartphones accounted for around 41 percent of total handset shipments during 2012. This figure is expected to reach 46 percent during 2013, and more than half (56 percent) of total handset shipments will be smartphones by 2017. From 680 million smartphones shipped in 2012, they expect to see 1.29 billion smartphones shipped in 2017.
Tablet shipments are forecast to average a CAGR of 24 percent over the period 2012-2017, rising from 2012 shipments of 136 million, to 2013 shipments of 208 million, going on to 2017 shipments of 398 million devices.
Due to this rapid growth in smartphone and tablet sales, they now forecast that over the period 2012-2017, the number of apps users will grow at a CAGR of 29.8 percent, to reach 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017 -- that's four times as many app users as there are today.