Mobile App Market To Double In 2012, Reach 45 Billion Annual Downloads

Smartphone users will double the app download market in 2012, passing the 45 billion mark or nearly double the number of apps downloaded in 2011. The app download numbers were retrieved by research group Gartner.

According to the research firm Apple controls the largest portion of the mobile app market with nearly 21 billion apps, an increase of 74% over 2011 numbers.

Gartner claims that Facebook, Amazon and other providers will cut into market share in coming months as non-mobile providers attempt to lure smartphone, internet and tablet users to their own platforms. The most recent example of an outside app market source taking market share is Amazon. The world’s largest online retailer uses the Google Android OS on its Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets but relies on its own app store for program sales.

According to Sandy Shen, Gartner’s research director:

“Amazon has appealed to users with its strong brand, global presence and a good selection of high-quality content while Facebook’s recently launched App Center — supporting both mobile devices and desktops — will become a powerful competitor due to its strong brand and leading position in social networking and gaming.”

According to Gartner by 2016 more than 300 billion apps will be downloaded annually. The research firm notes that the request for paid apps will actually be in decline. In 2012 only 11% of apps are expected to be paid downloaded, a number that will drop to 7% by 2016.

In 2012 87.5% of downloaded apps have cost just $2.99 or less.

Do you think the App market will actually grow to 300 billion app downloads by 2012?