As Apple gobbles up largest slice of the app pie
Downloads from mobile app stores will increase almost tenfold over the next five years, according to analysts.
In 2015, over 25 billion apps will be downloaded from mobile app stores worldwide - a significant increase from 2009 when less than 2.6 billion apps were downloaded from such stores, a recent report by Juniper Research has found.
Apple's App Store accounted for more than a third (35 per cent) of mobile app downloads in 2009, despite the fact that less than one per cent of the mobile phones in use that year were Apple iPhones, the report said.
Juniper attributes the App Store's popularity to the fact that developers are only building for a single handset and OS; the ease with which apps can be purchased from the store and the way consumers are now buying iPhones principally to get access to apps.
"It's almost impossible to compete with Apple on a level playing field," report author Dr Windsor Holden told silicon.com.
Apps are likely to become increasingly significant for Apple: MIT professor and tech industry guru Michael Cusumano recently told silicon.com that in future the majority of Apple's revenues will come from its digital services, such as the App Store, and not from selling its hardware.
However, while Apple continues to dominate the mobile app market, Juniper's report advises retailers and developers to ignore other platforms at their peril: "This is particularly true in developing markets, where the user base of iPhones (and indeed smartphones per se) is extremely low; thus if the mobile industry wishes to introduce a model based on applications, then it must ensure that those applications are accessible by a wide range of handsets ranging from smartphones to mass market devices," the report said.