App downloads expected to peak at seven billion by 2013

According to ABI Research’s new “Mobile Application Storefronts” report, consumers downloaded some 2.4 billion applications from the combined worldwide apps stores, and the number is set to increase until 2013 when apps will peak at just below seven billion.

The bad news is that ABI expect the number downloaded from app stores to drop after that. Although, total downloads from all sources will probably continue to grow.

According to senior analyst Mark Beccue, “App stores aren’t going away: following the 2013 peak in demand, the number of downloads in 2015 will have decreased only seven or eight percent. But as our use of the mobile Internet evolves, demand will increasingly shift elsewhere.”

The reasons for the decline from 2013 are many, explains Beccue. “We see two emerging trends: first, many applications (increasingly built on web standards) will migrate from app stores to regular websites, and for some sites you won’t need an app at all. In addition, more and more popular applications will be preloaded on mobile devices. Social networking apps in particular will be pre-loaded on new products.”

ABI also sees apps from the mobile operators as taking up more of the slack with these outlets extending the principle of downloadable apps to feature phones not just smartphones, which means access to many newer and developing markets where smartphone penetration is lower.