According to research from ABI, 2012 will be the year that premium pay-per-download titles lose out in the battle for revenue, making way for a new era in which IAP rules the roost.
This will not just be due to games though, as ABI predicts that the increase in mobile apps outside of the games category will help fuel overall IAP revenue.
In fact it predicts a significant rise over the next five years, from $8.5 billion in 2011 to $46 billion in 2016.
Not just games
"As a revenue model, in-app purchase is very limited today," said Mark Beccue, senior analyst of mobile services at ABI.
"The vast majority of current in-app revenue is being generated by a tiny percentage of people who are highly-committed mobile game players.
"We don't believe the percentage of mobile game players making in-app purchases will grow significantly, so for in-app purchase revenues to grow, mobile developers other than game developers must adopt it."
Catch up Google
Beccue points a finger at Google, claiming that its slow adoption of IAP systems has been a root cause of lag in the IAP market.
"Google is literally holding back the growth of mobile application monetisation," adds Beccue.
"We are keying many of our mobile app revenue forecasts around our guess of Google's plans."
You can find out more detail if you purchase ABI Researchs report, Mobile Application Business Models, which includes forecasts for different models by world regions and mobile device.
IAPs to overtake paid download revenue in 2012, reckons ABI research
But only if Google gets more involved
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