“Apps continue to move toward a world in which people play now and pay later.”
This quote by Joshua Brustein, author of the article The Profitable Future of Free Mobile Apps, is the ideology that mobile developers should base designing their future apps for mobile users upon. According to Gartner(IT) the total number of mobile app downloads is said to exceed over a 100 billion downloads this year. Apps that cost money up-front always have made up a tiny percentage of overall downloads. With the development of new up-incoming apps and their featuring in any app store, it is common sense to say that all mobile users prefer to download an app that is free opposed to one that cost money, up- front that is. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be less money to be made. Most of the revenue from apps will come from in-app purchases for things like extra lives in gaming apps or subscription fees to Spotify or Netflix, and etc. Apple is a good example to showcase this revenue model, and is much further ahead in the game for this path. According to Distimo, an app analytics company, in-app purchases account for 76 percent of all revenue for iOS.
Read more about this at http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-19/the-profitable-future-of-free-mobile-apps