A new study published by Chetan Sharma consulting on behalf of GetJar indicates that mobile app downloads will soar to 50 billion by 2012, up from 7 billion in 2009. In addition, the global mobile application economy is estimated to be worth $17.5bn in 2012, more than CD sales, which it predicts will be $13.83bn.
The study predicts a surge in advertising-supported mobile apps as a means for monetization, with Google’s Android platform leading the pack for the foreseeable future. Today, advertising-based revenue accounts for about 12% of app revenue, but by 2012 this figure is expected to rise to 28%.
The average selling price for mobile apps in 2009 was about $1.90, but the study suggests the during the next three years, this is predicted to decrease by 29% while apps will get cheaper. However, advertising revenue derived from apps is likely to stay relatively flat.
By 2012, “offdeck” apps, which are offered independently from a carrier, is predicted to be the largest revenue generator, accounting for almost 50% of all app revenue. By comparison, in 2009, apps available from mobile operators still accounted for more than 60% of all app revenue, but this will fall to just under 23% by 2012.
The study theorizes the market will continue to grow exponentially as mobile devices become as powerful as computers, and wireless networks deliver consistently higher bandwidths. “With the consumer appetite for mobile apps rocketing, the opportunities for developers are huge,” says the CEO and founder of GetJar, Ilja Laurs.