Apple breathed new life into the mobile app market, which has since run off in numerous money-making directions, driven by increasingly capable devices, high-speed networks and happier developers, says a new report. In 2009, 30 new non-carrier app stores opened their doors.
Mobile application downloads will increase from more than 7 billion
in 2009 to nearly 50 billion by 2012, while revenue from the mobile app
market will rocket from 2009's $4.1 billion to an expected $17.5
billion by 2012.
These are among the predictions of a March 17 research study from
Chetan Sharma Consulting that looked to grasp and quantify the global
mobile apps market - which has a global subscription base expected to
exceed 5 billion users by the end of 2010 and close in on 6 billion by
Feeding the market is a wealth of new app stores
, with the number of non-carrier stores
alone jumping from eight to 38 in 2009 alone.
"Almost all OEMs, big or small, have launched their own app
stores," says the report. "Additionally, many vertically focused,
more country specific, or platform specific app stores are trying to
take advantage of the gold rush."
Growing the apps that are encouraging said gold rush, says the
report, are increasingly powerful handsets with up to 1-2GHz
processors, wireless networks with consistent, 3G-plus
deployments and happier developers with access to native APIs,
rich platforms and favorable revenue-sharing terms.
Further, developers with successful apps, and so growing fan
bases, are creating opportunities to sell additional "digital and
virtual goods," which in turn create additionally revenue
"The creative elements in mobile advertising has seen a
significant improvement on platforms such as the iPhone and
Android and made the ads more engaging for the consumer and
rewarding for the advertisers," states the report.
Adding still more subscribers to the equation is the increasing number of feature-phone users
- particularly in China and India - who are also becoming app
downloaders. To point, Asia currently leads the download market,
accounting for 37 percent of global downloads. Fed by increasing
feature-phone users, global app downloads are expected to
increase from 7 billion in 2009 to 50 billion per year by 2012.
The report respectfully nods to the original catalyst for the
market: Apple, with its iPhone and App Store, which infused new
life into a market that had been present but essentially dormant
for nearly a decade.
Apple accomplished this, writes Chetan Sharma, by, first, changing
the revenue model for apps in favor of developers and, second,
bringing more developers into the ecosystem by focusing on just
one or two ecosystems. It also helped speed new apps' time to
market and created a seamless end-to-end user experience.
With feature phone capabilities beginning to blur with smartphones,
and revenue models growing with the numbers of platforms, the market
has grown well beyond what Apple first breathed life into.
"While Apple has played a significant role in reenergizing the mobile apps space
by bringing more consumers and developers into the ecosystem," states
the report, "there is significant activity outside the iPhone or
smartphone space that is often not discussed."
A complete copy of the report is available at the GetJar Developer Blog