It’s looking like 2011 will be a banner year for Apple’s App Store.
According to analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the growth of Apple’s iOS app stores is immense.
On Monday, Munster revealed that the average iOS device owner “will download 83 apps in 2011 vs. 51 in 2010,” a 61% increase year over year. “Smartphone users are showing an increasing appetite to use apps to add features to their phones,” Munster says, “and iOS has the leading app ecosystem.”
Just last week, Apple announced that 15 billion iOS apps have now been downloaded.
Consequently, Munster contends that Apple’s various app stores now collectively represent a major part of Apple’s business model. “We believe this trend points to the increasing importance of an app store with a broad selection of tested apps to drive device sales,” Munster argues.
Munster’s research also indicates that the rate of app downloads continues to grow even as prices similarly climb. “The ASP (average selling price) per app is rebounding,” Munster adds. “ASPs are up 14% y/y in 20111 vs. an 18% decline in 2010.”
“After the initial race to the bottom in App Store pricing,” Munster concluded in his report, “we are seeing users pay up to add features and games to their iOS devices.”