Mobile apps have taken their cash-generating prowess to an entirely new level this year.
By the end of 2013, IHS projects that the app ecosystem will have raked in revenues totaling $15.5 billion.
When it’s all said and done, 90 billion smartphone and tablet apps will have been downloaded in 2013. That’s nearly double 2012′s total app downloads of 49 million.
Of the mammoth amount of green generated by this download boom, 85 percent of the revenue was generated exclusively by apps on iOS and Android.
What’s perhaps most remarkable about this growth, however, is that 80% of total app revenues now originate from freemium products.
“Games count for the vast majority of revenue for Google and Apples stores,” reads the IHS report. “Maybe two or three years ago, you would pay $1 or $2 for a game, but there was no opportunity for them to charge you more. Now they give it to you for free, then keep charging you for additional features.”
For the full year, ad revenue from apps is on pace to reach $6 billion.