According to a study by ABI Research, the average size of an iOS app increased by 16% from March to September 2012; iOS games have grown at an even faster rate, jumping 42% over that same time period.
The increase is believed to be a result of the new retina displays and the constant need for a Universal app, which is an app that includes all the sources to run on the iPad or iPhone. These two reasons combined have really contributed to the amount of memory that apps take up.
The main issue here is how much memory the consumer’s iPad or iPhone has as Markkanen states, “Especially the consumers with 16GB devices are likely to become more conscious about what apps to keep and what to uninstall, so the developers’ bar to impress will be getting even higher than it is now. This could also speed up the adoption of the mobile cloud as a storage remedy quite significantly.”
Some have speculated that Apple could hold down the entry-level pricing on the iPad mini by offering an 8 GB model. This might not be possible seeing how Universal apps and retina display requirements are constantly increasing the size of apps. The result will most likely be Apple sticking with the 16 GB memory as the entry level standard.
Even the iPhone has trended toward larger capacities, with Apple adding a 64 GB option for the iPhone 4S, and now offering only the free iPhone 4 as an 8 GB device. Though it doesn’t support downloadable apps, the new iPod Nano is also only offered in an 16GB capacity, dropping the 8GB capacity that the prior Nano was offered in.
Last month, Apple stopped selling any iPod Touch model in an 8GB capacity — the smallest iPod touch nowadays is the 16GB 4th generation model, available for $199. The new 5th generation model starts at 32GB.