Mobile app downloads expected to soar

The need for mobile application security has become even more apparent, as new figures suggest that the number of downloads from app stores will hit 102 billion this year.

Predictions from Gartner show a significant rise from the 64 billion apps downloaded in 2012 – although it seems people are still sceptical about paying for them.

Free apps account for 91 per cent of total downloads, although in-app purchases are expected to rise from 11 per cent in 2012 to 48 per cent five years later.

Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, commented: "The average downloads per device should be high in early years as users get new devices and discover the apps they like.

"Over time they accumulate a portfolio of apps they like and stick to, so there will be moderate numbers of downloads in the later years."

Another research director, Brian Blau, revealed that 60 per cent of apps available in the Apple App Store are free, compared to 80 per cent of those available to Google Play users.

Although Gartner believes average monthly downloads will start to decline, the use of such products is still expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future.

A white paper released by IBM recently suggested that many mobile users do not take the security credentials of an app into account.

The study showed that hackers are using an increasingly sophisticated set of methods to infiltrate apps, such as by intercepting internet traffic and sending crafted data to a user's device.

Titled 'Ensuring application security in mobile device environments', the report stressed that the types of attacks at hackers' identified just how far-reaching the effects of an attack can be.

As a result, IBM urged app users to be more vigilant when they download data to their mobile devices.

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