IDC Predicts 183 Billion Mobile App Downloads By 2015, Rise Of In-App Purchasing

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Research firm IDC forecasts the number of annual mobile app downloads to increase from 10.7 billion in 2010 to nearly 183 billion by 2015, notably more than the 44 billion mobile app downloads by 2016 forecasted by its competitor ABI Research.

IDC says the bigger story behind the numbers is an impending shift away from the current reliance upon mobile app download purchases as the primary focus of app monetization.

Rather, IDC says, developers will focus increasingly on in-app purchasing and advertising to fund business models, a shift that the firm says is most evident in the free app category.

Last January, in its January 20111 Appcelerator/IDC 1Q11 Mobile App Developer Survey Report, IDC posited that developers were increasingly planning to incorporate in-app purchasing, mobile advertising, and mobile commerce in their mobile applications.

IDC says its outlook on the mobile application market is informed by conversations with a “wide variety of players in the mobile app marketplace”, as well as financial and product announcements and its quarterly survey of Appcelerator’s 70,000+ mobile app developer base.

Two months ago, IDC reported that the global mobile phone market had ballooned in the first quarter of this year, growing 19.8 percent year-over-year, mostly due to the meteoric rise of smartphone shipments.

For your further reading pleasure:

Users Will Download 44 Billion Mobile Apps By 2016 (April 2011)

Mobile App Users Are Both Fickle And Loyal: Study (March 2011)

Report: Mobile App Market Will Be Worth $25 Billion By 2015 (Jan 2011)

Gartner Forecasts Mobile App Store Revenues Will Hit $15B in 2011 (Jan 2011)