Worldwide market apps number

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Worldwide mobile application store downloads are forecast to reach 17.7 billion downloads in 2011, a 117 percent increase from an estimated 8.2 billion downloads in 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. By the end of 2014, Gartner forecast over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded from mobile app stores, since the launch of the first one in July 2008.

Worldwide mobile application store revenue is projected to surpass $15.1 billion in 2011, both from end users buying applications and applications themselves generating advertising revenue for their developers. This is a 190 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $5.2 billion.

“Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. “We strongly believe there is a sizable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a Web-based app will be able to deliver. Native apps will survive the Web enhancements only when they will provide a more-personal and richer experience to the ‘vanilla’ experience that a Web-based app will deliver.”

Gartner analysts said the hype around application stores in 2009 continued through 2010 with alternative offerings to the Apple App Store gaining some traction. Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) App World, Microsoft Marketplace and Samsung Apps are the key competitors that saw the number of application downloads grow in 2010.

Free downloads are forecast to account for 81 percent of total mobile application store downloads in 2011. This percentage has been decreasing since the first launches in 2008, and Gartner estimates free downloads will continue to decrease in 2011, but it will increase again from 2012 through 2014. Users will begin paying for more applications as they perceive values in the concept of mobile applications, and they become more trustful of billing mechanisms.

In 2010, application stores’ revenue is estimated to have reached $5.2 billion, both from end users buying applications and applications generating advertising revenue for their developers. The growth between 2010 and 2014 is forecast be over 1,000 percent.

Application stores’ revenue is split between the store owners (such as Apple, in the case of the App Store, or RIM, in the case of App World) and the application’s developer. The average revenue share is based on a 70/30 split, with 70 percent going to the developer. By the end of 2014, advertising will be generating a little under a third of the revenue generated by application stores, up from 16 percent in 2010.

“While the average number of downloads per device onto a smartphone will remain stable as the market grows, it must be assumed that media tablets will drive more downloads from consumers, boosting the overall average downloads per device,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “We estimate that Apple’s App Store drove close to nine application downloads out of 10 in 2010 and will remain the single best-selling store across our forecast period (through 2014), although to a lesser extent, as other stores manage to gain momentum.”

“Application stores have become a highly visible and potentially lucrative part of the smartphone ‘ecosystem, largely due to Apple’s App Store. As well as promising revenue, application stores allow store owners to leverage innovation from a community outside their own R&D department,” said Ms.Baghdassarian. “However, setting up a successful application store is far from simple. Application store owners need to rise to the challenges of attracting developers, organizing content and engaging users throughout the life of the store in order to remain profitable.”

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Forecast: Mobile Application Stores, Worldwide, 2008-2014.” The report is available on Gartner’s website athttp://www.gartner.com/resId=1498914.

Note to editors
There are many application stores in the market, selling anything from applications to media content. In this forecast, Gartner only considers application stores that have a storefront accessible directly from a mobile device, without having to go onto the Web and entering a Web address. In the mobile application stores revenue forecast, Gartner considered only the revenue generated by applications, excluding other types of content, such as ringtones and wallpaper.

The stats, all the stats and nothing but the stats…
In the past three years, we have gone from a smattering of mobile statistics to an abundance of useful information. But there’s still a long way to go, there are still huge gaps in our knowledge, some countries enjoy a proliferation of data sources, while others have little or none; and the quality of statistics varies incredibly. As telecoms regulators and industry associations start to collect and share meaningful data, things will only get better.
An unfortunate side effect of the media’s recent surge of enthusiasm for mobile in the past year is a tendency to highlight data of dubious quality (often when better is available), and/or widespread misunderstanding, misreporting and failure to qualify figures they have cherry-picked. This isn’t just misleading and confusing, it’s damaging. If brands are persuaded by hype to divert funds into niche, ill-thought-through mobile projects and then get burnt, the whole mobile business suffers.
This mobile stats compendium – which is regularly updated – hopefully goes some way to putting right some of the sins of the last few years. But please remember that even the best quality independent statistics are speculative to some degree – stats are not facts.
• If you use any of the stats, please remember to source and link to both the analysts and to mobiThinking. Please do not republish more than 5 percent of the content without seeking permission.
• Thanks to all the analysts, associations and regulators that continue to send us their research. Please keep us updated:

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