iOS device owners are buying more apps and spending more for them, according to a report from Piper Jaffray. The investment firm came up with its own model to keep tabs on the App Store using Apple's data and predicts that users will download an average of 83 apps in 2011, up 61 percent from 51 apps in 2010.
The study, as reported by Fortune also finds that prices for apps are rebounding after slipping in 2010 as the market became flush with cheap and free apps for both iOS and Android devices. The average selling price for an app had dipped as low as $1.25 in the spring of 2010 in the App Store, but Piper Jaffray's research shows that figure has recovered a bit and continues to rise.
The report is more evidence of Apple's strength in the global battle for app dominance, following much reporting in the spring of Android's ascendance, including some predictions that the Android Market would lap the App Store by now.
Instead, Piper Jaffray finds Apple's App Store still has twice as many apps, with 425,000 to the Android Market's 200,000. Apple also just claimed its 15 billionth app download to Android's 4.5 billion overall.
Of course, while prices for apps are rising and so are the average downloads per user, 82 percent of App Store apps are still free. Not that Apple's sweating it too much. App sales make up just about one percent of the company's overall business. Then again, they sure have helped to sell more than 100 million iPhones to the world.