Mobile apps are expected to see more than 268 billion downloads and generate revenue of over $77 billion by 2017, becoming one of the most popular computing tools, research firm Gartner said.
"Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers. From entertainment content to productivity services, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve," Gartner Research Director Brian Blau said.
As users continue to adopt and interact with apps, it is their data -- what they say, what they do, where they go -- that is transforming the app interaction paradigm, he added.
In 2013, free apps accounted for 92% of the app downloads. App users are providing troves of data and often accept advertising or data connectivity in exchange for access to the app.
Brands and businesses are already using mobile apps as a primary component of their user engagement strategies, Gartner said.
As the use of mobile devices, including wearable devices, expands into other areas of consumer and business activities, mobile apps will become even more significant, it added.
"In the next 3-4 years, apps will no longer be simply confined to smartphones and tablets, but will impact a wider set of devices, from home appliances to cars and wearable devices," Blau said.
By 2017, Gartner predicts that wearable devices will drive 50% of total app interactions, he added.
Source: Times of India