The volume of mobile app sales could be close to peaking, with signs that consumer demand in the UK is waning, according to research by Deloitte cited by a Financial Times report.
Deloitte found that 31 per cent of UK smartphone users do not download any apps for their devices in a typical month — an increase from less than 20 per cent a year ago.
In addition, the mean number of downloads per user has fallen from 2.32 to 1.82 during the same period.
In terms of monetisation, close to 90 per cent of people surveyed said they never spend money on apps or other smartphone content, something that is clearly limiting the potential size of the market.
This trend doesn’t appear to be global though: Apple said in July that nearly half of the $20 billion in revenue paid to developers in its App Store was generated in the previous 12 months.
Google Play, meanwhile, is catching up with the App Store in terms of revenue generated, according to recent figures from analyst firm App Annie.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Deloitte analyst Paul Lee said the UK is close to reaching the limit in terms of app store downloads. With the UK seen as a bellwether market for apps, this trend could become global over the next few years.
Lee said the findings do not equate to the market shrinking but an increasing number of casual users who download fewer releases in an expanding smartphone market.
This development will make things tougher for independent developers who are already struggling to gain visibility for their products amongst the millions of titles available and the hit-driven nature of app stores.