We don’t know. You don’t know. Research firms, realistically, don’t know either – but they’re happy to guess. App Annie and IDC, for example, expect app revenues on the Google Play and Apple App Store to double by 2018. Which, given that Apple paid out $10bn and Google $7bn in 2014, would suggest combined payouts of around $34bn in 2018, and thus (once the store owners’ 30% cut is factored back in) around $48.6bn. Want a second opinion? 

Juniper Research can always be relied upon to provide numbers bigger than their rivals, and it’s come through this week: $99bn of apps revenues in 2019 – a figure that includes Apple and Google’s app stores, but also those of other companies. It also predicts more than 235bn app downloads in 2015, noting that “barely 1% of applications are now paid for at the point of download”. Meanwhile, another research firm – Gartner – is talking up the “maturing” nature of the apps market, as people settle into patterns of usage. “Their willingness for new app experiences is open-ended, but their plan is to keep their same patterns of use. Users will try new apps, but they need to be convinced of an app’s value before they adopt them…”

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