There’s no concrete way to quantify the value of the billions of iPhone App Store downloads yet, not to mention the branded apps from companies like ESPN, Showtime and Conde Nast — but market researcher Yankee Group is trying with a new forecast. Its latest report is pegging the U.S. smartphone app market to grow from just $343 million in revenue this year, to $4.2 billion by 2013.
The report pins the strong growth to two trends: increased smartphone adoption overall, and a slight uptick in the average selling price for a majority of apps.
Yankee Group estimates that there are roughly 40 million smartphones currently in the U.S. market; that will quadruple to 160 million over the next four years. And though 99-cent apps are “by far” the most popular downloads right now, the market research firm suggests that the average selling price for a paid app will be roughly $2.37 in 2013 — up from $1.95 this year.
Yankee Group combined qualitative and quantitative data, including survey responses from over 8,700 consumers as part of its ongoing report series, as well as publicly available stats on top downloads from sites like the iTunes App Store, to come up with this forecast. The research does not include app downloads on the iTouch, since the company wanted to restrict it to actual smartphones. Release.