IHS Screen Digest has its latest apps predictions out, estimating that in-app purchases will account for 64% of total smartphone apps revenues in 2015, up from 39% in 2011. It predicts IAP revenues of $970m for 2011, rising to $5.6bn in 2015. “Smartphone users overwhelmingly prefer free apps to paid apps, as we estimate 96 percent of all smartphone apps were downloaded for free in 2011,” says IHS’ Jack Kent. “In 2012, it will become increasingly difficult for app stores and developers to justify charging an upfront fee for their products when faced with competition from a plethora of free content… “Games pioneered the in-app business model. Now the approach has proven so successful, companies building other types of smartphone app must adopt this strategy if they are to maximize their mobile app revenues.”

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