And average iOS owner to buy more apps
If you feel like Apple is nickel-and-diming its way into your bank account with the App Store, get ready to be dime-and-quartered because prices are going up.
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Piper Jaffray has released a research note outlining the current state of the iTunes App Store as well as its expected shift over the next year. And while it is all good news for Apple, it seems the days of cheap apps may be starting to fade.
The group's analyst Gene Munster believes App Store prices will rise an average of 14% in 2011, while the number of apps the average iOS user downloads will increase by 61%.
Here are some more solid numbers regarding the price of iPhone and iPad apps: The average price of an iPhone app today is $1.44. That doesn't count free apps, which account for 18% of the entire iPhone catalog.
Meanwhile, iPad-exclusive apps sell for an average of $6.32, a whopping 36% increase over the previous year.
Munster points to the rise in iPad popularity as a key factor for why iOS apps on the whole will shoot up in price over the next year. While iPhone apps may still hover around the $1-$2 price range, there's a good chance more "luxury" apps will start popping up for the tablet device.
For the 2011 calendar year, Munster claims Apple is on track to rake in a total of $4.27 billion, an amazing increase of 2010's $1.27 billion. Even more amazing is the prediction that 2012 will reach nearly $7.7 billion in App Store income.
Obviously, Apple has done something right. Even though Android continues to bring in the big numbers on the hardware side, Apple has mastered the monetization aspect from the software side. There's no end in sight to its success.