According to a note to investors made by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, App Store sales are expected to at least double during 2011 in comparison to last year. Munster predicted that the average iOS device user will download 83 apps in 2011, up 61 percent from 51 in 2010.
Apple recently announced that there are over 425,000 apps in the App Store, and Piper Jaffray estimates that about 82% of those are free while the other 18% that are paid apps cost an average of $1.44 each. Apple announced last week that App Store sales have reached 15 billion since the store launched in June 2008, and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
“We believe this trend points to the increasing importance of an app store with a broad selection of tested apps to drive device sales,” Munster wrote. “Smartphone users are showing an increasing appetite to use apps to add features to their phones, and iOS has the leading app ecosystem.”
The increase in app sales this year can likely be attributed to the successful sales numbers of the iPad 2 and the introduction of the Verizon iPhone.