According to a recent article in PCWorld, leading analyst firm Gartner has reported “93 percent of all mobile apps will be free by 2016.”
This news will likely lead mobile app developers to focus their attention on how to drive revenue out of these free apps. This can be done either through in-app advertising or by making the app free, but charging the user for added features. While these tactics help the developer drive revenue, it only makes network congestion worse with constant signaling from the app to the app stores and/or advertiser websites.
Furthermore, the increased focus on revenue will distract the developers from focusing on improving the signaling and data transfer efficiency of their apps, much like we discussed in our recent blog post on HTML5 and developer priorities.
So, while consumers will certainly enjoy a greater selection of free apps, they will be hard pressed to enjoy using the apps due to increased traffic on the wireless network. We expect that this will only increase pressure on carriers to deploy traffic management solutions that enable them to maintain their good level quality of experience.