830 Million Smartphone and Tablet App Users by 2016: Report

Enterprise smartphone and media tablet adoption is providing the foundation for enterprise app development and deployment.

Users of enterprise B2E (business-to-employee) and B2C (business-to-customer) smartphone and media tablet mobile applications are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 90 percent and exceed 830 million active users by 2016, according to a report from IT analytics firm ABI Research. These numbers include such B2E apps as line-of-business apps and B2C, branded company apps. In both cases, enterprises are leveraging their vast stores of corporate data to make employees more efficient and to foster greater customer intimacy, the report noted.

Enterprise smartphone and media tablet adoption is providing the foundation for enterprise app development and deployment. But, according to enterprise practice director Dan Shey, mobile suppliers are providing the critical enablers boosting app adoption.

Shey said there are two important supply-side drivers.

"First, the supplier market offering mobile application platforms has exploded. With these platforms, an app can be written once and deployed across multiple devices in the highly fragmented smartphone and tablet supplier market," he noted. "Many platforms also provide management and system integration capabilities, and are highly cost-effective."

Second, Shey noted many mobile application and app platform providers now offer cloud services as a component of the application or app platform. He said this reduces the investment for businesses, opening up the market for smaller organizations.

The majority of users are B2C customers, with a large share from branded banking, airline and shopping apps. But according to Shey, active B2C customers could be a much larger group than they are. "There is no reason why most businesses could not offer B2C smartphone or tablet apps to their customers, regardless of business size," he explained. "The challenge for mobile suppliers will be to promote and facilitate application development for all businesses with the opportunity to generate greater app service and management revenues."

The report, "Mobile Enterprise Applications for Smartphones and Media Tablets," provides a quantitative, review of the enterprise mobile application market for smartphones and media tablets. Particular emphasis is placed on dissection of the technology drivers and the opportunities and challenges for nine segments of the mobile supply chain. Included are B2E and B2C app customer and service revenue forecasts segmented for seven world regions and by device type as well as 2010 industry B2E app estimates.