Mobile in-app purchases are expected to hit $4.8bn by 2016, and increasingly they're key to the monetization models mobile app developers and app store operators are employing to keep themselves well fed.
But the dollar signs are somewhat deceptive. Profiting from in-app purchases is a lot more difficult than just enabling in-app purchases, and not all developers will implement the model successfully.
So what's the secret to success?
Little more than a year ago, I asked the question, "Will the Mac app store change the desktop software landscape?"
The answer may not yet be obvious, but one thing is for sure: Apple's attempt to bring the app store model to the desktop isn't a flop.
Yesterday, the company announced that less than a year after launching, the Mac App Store has already surpassed the 100m download milestone.
According to Apple, this makes its newest app store "the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
Windows 8 is coming, and it's going to bring more than just a new operating system to users. Perhaps inspired by Apple, Microsoft will be delivering an app store dubbed the Windows Store with the newest version of its OS.
The Windows Store, which Microsoft wants to be the primary distribution hub for Metro style apps, is clearly something Microsoft has high hopes for. In fact, it's one of the reasons Microsoft is calling Windows 8 "the largest developer opportunity, ever."
For Adobe, the rise of mobile, and the iPhone and iPad in particular, has been bittersweet.
Yes, the company most recognizable to consumers for its Reader and Flash products, has plenty of new opportunities thanks to mobile, but exploiting them has required the company to look at a number of Plan Bs.
The primary reason: Apple doesn't like Flash. Adobe tried to persuade Apple that Flash isn't so bad, but that wasn't going anywhere, so the company has been increasingly betting its mobile future on other technologies, like HTML5.
When it comes to mobile apps and app stores, two names stand out: Apple's App Store, and Google's Android Market.
In fact, for many developers, these two app stores are the only game in town.
But is ignoring other app stores, like Nokia's OVI Store, a mistake? According to research firm research2guidance, the answer may be 'yes'.
iOS, Android, Windows 7, the App Store, Android Market, Windows Marketplace, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Google TV, PS3...
The number of channels and platforms on the internet and mobile internet
is astounding. And it's growing practically every single day. In many
ways, this is a blessing, but it's also a curse for developers and