Android to take 58 percent of smartphone apps

Android to take 58 percent of smartphone apps

Summary: Android will account for over half of the estimated 56 billion smartphone app downloads in 2013, exceeding iOS which will take 33 percent, and mobile developers will adopt Android-first strategy.


More than half, or 58 percent, of the total 56 billion smartphone app downloads expected this year will be Android apps, while Apple iOS will account for 33 percent.

Microsoft's Windows Phone will have a share of slightly less than 4 percent and BlackBerry will see 3 percent, ABI Research said in a statement Monday.

iOS will lead the apps market in tablets, though, accounting for 75 percent of the estimated 14 billion tablet app downloads this year. Android tablet apps will make up 17 percent, excluding those downloaded by Amazon's Kindle Fire. Downloads to Amazon's tablets will take up 4 percent, while Windows-based tablet apps will see 2 percent, the market research firm said.

Android will lead in terms of smartphone app downloads in 2013, but Apple will take first place for tablet app downloads.

ABI Research said it expects a growing number of smartphone-focused developers to adopt an Android-first strategy within the year.

ABI Research senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said: "[This means the] most pressing issue for Google is how much of the handset momentum will trickle down to tablets, where Apple is holding the fort remarkably well."

He noted there is an upside to the Android fragmentation issue since Google can actually benefit from Amazon's tablet push. The Kindle Fire will add much "critical code mass" to positioning Android as a platform for tablet apps, he explained.

ABI Research's estimates of smartphone app downloads corroborates with another report by IDC, which stated more smartphones than feature phones will be shipped in 2013 worldwide for the first time. Handset makers would ship about 918.6 million smartphones, making up 50.1 percent of total mobile shipments globally.

IDC attributed the shift largely to emerging economies. It said smartphone demand had been burgeoning in China, Brazil and India, as these economies had grown, creating a larger middle class prepared to buy smartphones.

Topics: Apps, Android, iOS, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Tablets, Windows Phone

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • This isn't a surprise

    The only people who will be surprised or up in arms about this are iOS Fanatics... Everybody else saw this coming, this war was won by Google more than a year ago and momentum is too much for others to stop.

    Android is king of Mobile now and iOS will decline while Microsoft ends up second and surpasses iOS.
    • You jumped in before reading the article, didn't you!

      The article explains, inter alia, that 58% of SMARTPHONE downloads will be for Android.

      The article explains, inter alia, that 75% of TABLET downloads will be for iPads.

      You might also note that the article says nothing about the income that will be generated from any of the downloads, which is one of the more important measures.

      Google has certainly not won the MOBILE wars. The most that you could say is that they have won the SMARTPHONE war, though why you feel the need to make such statements is beyond me.
      • Ah I was wondering that too...

        It'll be interesting to see how app income percentage has changed. Apple famously have quite high commission rates on the apps, but the perception amongst developers has always been that expensive iOS device users are far more likely to use paid apps and utilise in-app purchase.

        It would be interesting to see this broken down, as well as changing trends. Historically paid apps have come to iOS first, then if they're a success go on to android; by average. What has changed a lot is not so much number of respective devies, rather cash flow generation. Free and free to play apps are now far more profitable due to popularity.
      • Nah

        I just don't believe the Tablet share is going to hold up either. In fact, that's why I think MS will be second... You don't really think Windows Phone is going to catch Android do you?
    • Re: Android is king of Mobile now

      I'd agree with that part, but not with Microsoft surpassing IOS. True, they're desperately trying to copy Apple, but they can't figure out how to do it right.
      • It will

        When it comes to Tablets it will pass them.
        • Re: When it comes to Tablets it will pass them.

          Microsoft had a decade head-start on tablets before Apple and Android came along. Even without competition, it still couldn't succeed, because its products were overpriced and underperforming.

          Now, with Apple and Android busily divvying up the tablet market between them, you think Microsoft has a new chance? Well, guess what: its products are STILL overpriced and underperforming.
        • Samsung ATIV withdrawn from European market

          Reports today are that Samsung withdrew the ATIV, its premium Windows 8 device from European markets because it is not selling. That is hardly consistent with MS tablets being the way of the future.

          As has also been mentioned, Windows tablets had at least a 10 year headstart. During that entire period, pitifully Windows tablets were ever sold.
  • We heard this 2 years ago.

    "Hyper exponential" Android growth rate will drive App downloads on Android to exceed iOS in 2010. Will wait and see.

    Revenue is still 5X on iOS than Android and that is all that matters. The Fandroids will still jump up and down and point to analysts after analyst that has been wrong time and time again and say. SEEEE..... NOW IT WILL BE TRUE.
    • yes yes

      yes yes....still a lot of dumb people iConboard is a smartphone....just see this:
      • Have you seen the apple what's new?

        Not worth the link, all it says is new screen, coming soon.
        Little Old Man
    • Not for users

      Huge profits on products common people buy are not a good sign - maybe they are paying more than what they should :-P
      There is no denying, android is leading, with a huge advantage on smartphones, and tablets will go the same way.
      Apple as a single hardware maker with a limited set of devices is doing an amazing job, better would be extremely hard. I think they will maintain a solid share away from Windows or BlackBerry.
  • Congrats Google, But Developers Still Weary

    Google's Smartphone domination is news that's over a year old. It hasn't changed that high profile developers still prefer iOS first. This is due largely because of two main variables: 1. Piracy has a strong presence on Android, which decreases profit margins. 2. Android fragmentation requires developers to do double the work load if they really intend to reach out to the the entire Android population.
    • Re: It hasn't changed that high profile developers still prefer iOS first

      How did those developers become "high-profile"? Face it, they were nobodies who took a chance on IOS and rode it to the top.

      Now they are comfortable and complacent, and less willing to take risks. And so it falls to a new generation of nobodies to take a chance on Android and ride it to the top.
    • That's a myth

      There's really very little issue with fragmentation at the application level. An app developer can adjust to the OS level of the device without much problem.

      On iOS, you need an entirely different application to take advantage of tablets. Android applications just adapt, and much of that is handled by the OS. So there's actually less real developer fragmentation on Android than iOS.

      Microsoft, on the other, had made things just as bad. Phone applications are different releases than tablet applications.
      • I love how Apple haters make stuff up.

        "On iOS, you need an entirely different application to take advantage of tablets."

        Nope. 100% a lie.
  • Android to take 58 percent of smartphone apps

    Android has peaked. With so many people getting frustrated with their android phones due to malware and apps crashing its all downhill from here. There is no room for developers in the android ecosystem since its saturated. You will not make money in it.
    • yes

      They should all jump to the "less than 4%" windows phone...............

      Guaranteed to be homeless in a week if they depened on making a living of that turd of an OS.
    • Can I have

      some of the drugs you're taking? I'll pay!

      I've 'tested' a good number of legal substances and not one of them has given me the freedom from reality that you experience daily. Come on, share them around. Who knows, it might improve WP sales.
      Little Old Man