Data & Research

Annual spend on in-app purchases to top $3 billion on tablets alone by 2016

Juniper predicts ten fold increase

Annual spend on in-app purchases to top $3 billion on tablets alone by 2016
Tablet gamers will spend $3.03 billion on in-app purchases in 2016, according to the latest report from Juniper Research.

This projection represents a ten-fold increase on the $301 million that tablet gamers spent in 2012 – a surge that's attributed to rapid tablet uptake and the increasing acceptance of in-app purchases.

This revenue growth could come at the expense of gaming handhelds such as the PS Vita and 3DS though.

"The report […] found that there had been a clear migration of users from dedicated portable gaming devices across to tablets, and to some extent, smartphones," said Juniper in a statement.

What and where

As for the form that this consumer spending will take, Juniper reckons that virtual currencies, rather than in-game goods, will generate the highest levels of player engagement and spending.

And when it comes to the geographic breakdown of that $3 billion, Juniper predicts that that majority of in-game purchase revenue on tablets will come from the far east, China and North America.

Taken together, these regions will account for more than 86 percent of users' spend in 2016.

Smartphone success

But, as bullish as Juniper is regarding the rise of tablet gaming revenue, the company believes that smartphones will remain the primary source of in-app purchases.

The research firm estimates that smartphone gamers will spend more than $6 billion on in-app purchases in 2016.

The full 65-page report, 'Mobile & Tablet Games', is available from the Juniper Research website. A free whitepaper, 'Mobile & Tablet Games - Playing & Paying' is also available.

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013


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Peter Warman
Nice of Juniper to throw out these big numbers but the figure for 2012 is a bit strange.. Total spending on iPad games in the US only in 2012 was around the $500M mark. This is based on continuous and client validated app analytics of us and our partner Distimo. I think Juniper is off at least a factor 3 when it comes to their figures on last year....... Here is a fun fact on iPad games for you: Russians spent more money on iPad games then Germans last January 2013....... Who still thinks Russia is an emerging market, should think twice. :-)