Mobile App Sales To Hit $3.8bn This Year, Apple Still The King!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 6, 2011

Last month, I read an IDC report that predicts Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will move from near-last place today to number two, just behind Google’s Android, by 2015. As much as I respect and admire IDC research, the assumption that both Android and WP7 will outpace iOS sounds overly optimistic, at least to me.

After all, Apple currently seems to be the best positioned amongst the trio. Android’s fragmentation woes are a well documented affair while Microsoft is still busy pushing nodo updates and figuring out its Mango plans. In contrast, Apple seems well settled, it is gearing up to launch the much anticipated iPhone 5 and chalking out innovations such as pushing OTA updates through its App Store.

As per a recent report from IHS Screen Digest, Apple will remain king when it comes to mobile app revenues through 2014, when it will retain 60 percent of the market. More importantly, the mobile app industry is all set to explode to from $2.1 billion to $3.8 billion in 2011 and to $8.3 billion by 2014.

Hard to imagine – the mobile app segment wasn’t even a billion-dollar industry in year 2009. Times sure have changed.

The IHS iSuppli report suggests Apple App Store will account for $2.91 billion, or a 76.6% share of the total market, by the end of this year. Interestingly, Google’s Android Market is expected grow at a rate four times faster than the App Store this year. Android revenue will skyrocket by 295.4 percent to $425.36 million and it seems well positioned to unseat BlackBerry App World from the number-two position. The report suggests Blackberry App World and Nokia’s Ovi Store will compete for a podium finish, well behind Apple App Store and Android Market. Ironical as it seems, Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace isn’t even mentioned in the iSuppli report. 🙂

The report suggests Apple will retain 60 percent of the mobile apps market by 2014. The report accounts for high-profile iOS-based product launches such as the first-generation iPad and the iPhone 4, both of which likely significantly boosted app sales. All in all, the report reveals no major surprises – Apple will slowly but surely keep growing, Android will keep up its explosive growth rate and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is expected to continue its downhill journey.

The report indicates in-app purchases “will serve as a key growth driver for revenue up to 2014.” Apple conceptualized the in-app purchase bandwagon, with companies like Google and RIM following suit.

To be honest, I’m not really concerned by the winners and losers. IHS Screen Digest is far from the only company making app predictions. Dozens of such reports are published every month, favoring one platform or the other. Developers tend to be cynical of the numbers in these kinds of reports while most consumers use it as a means to follow the smartphone and tablet games.

As for me, I usually prefer reading between the lines. What do you make of such app store predictions? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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