The App Store could have up to 5m active apps by 2020.
This number would be 73% higher than projections for the end of 2016.
The figures come from Sensor Tower, who recently analysed historical data and trends since the launch of the App Store in 2008.
By the end of 2008, there were 5,000 active apps on the App Store, a figure that grew to 1.75m by 2015.
And with 2m apps currently active on the store, the data suggests that this figure will grow to 2.93m by the end of 2016, and up to 5.06m by 2020.
This massive growth is expected to be driven by gaming apps.
Of all the 48,231 new apps added to the store in May, games accounted for around 43% of these apps.
The rest of the 22 categories account for the other 57%, with Education, Entertainment, Business, and Lifestyle rounding out the top five in terms of apps added.
In terms of how discoverability will change for this ever expanding app store, Sensor Tower said:
“In light of our new findings, we’re convinced that far more significant changes to the navigation, curation, and overall presentation of the App Store will be needed to support an ecosystem that’s twice today’s size just four years from now.
“Some of these improvements will likely come in the form of user interface upgrades, while others may very well benefit from Apple’s accelerated push into machine learning.
“We’re already seeing so-called assistants making their way into core areas of iOS itself–most prominently in the new iOS 10 iMessage and Photos refresh–so it’s not unrealistic to imagine a near-future App Store assistant that learns from user behavior to deliver customized recommendations, intelligently surfacing new apps based on behavior patterns or even conversations with others.”
Read the full report here.