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The App Store Continues to Grow

Fortune reports on a new note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who for some time has been keeping tabs on the performance of Apple’s App Store using calculations of download rates and other metrics against number of devices sold. According to Munster, iOS device owners are increasing their usage of the App Store in 2011, downloading more apps as the average sales price for paid apps has rebounded after dropping last year.

- More apps: The average iOS device owner will download 83 apps in 2011 vs. 51 in 2010, a 61% increase year over year. “Smartphone users are showing an increasing appetite to use apps to add features to their phones,” Munster writes, “and iOS has the leading app ecosystem.”

- More expensive apps: The ASP (average selling price) per app is rebounding. ASPs are up 14% y/y in 20111 vs. an 18% decline in 2010. “After the initial race to the bottom in App Store pricing,” says Munster, “we are seeing users pay up to add features and games to their iOS devices.”

Munster reports that 82% of App Store activity is from free apps, while the 18% of downloads that are paid apps carry an average selling price of $1.44. Munster notes that the recent increase in average selling price seems to be driven by the iPad, which in general sees higher average app prices than the iPhone and iPod touch.

Apple last week introduced that the App Shop experienced arrived at 15 billion downloading since its inception three years ago. Still, App Shop revenue represents no more than 1Percent of Apple’s overall revenue and it is seen mainly like a driver of Apple’s equipment product sales.

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