Apps immune to global financial meltdown, with even more growth to come

Jan 19, 2011
Finance

Apps are booming. But just wait. They’re getting even bigger. Dallas-based researcher MarketsandMarkets is projecting that by 2015 that the global app market will reach $25 billion, up from $6.8 billion in 2010, having grown at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30 percent between 2009 through 2014. Apple (AAPL) will still play a […]

Apps are booming. But just wait. They’re getting even bigger.

Dallas-based researcher MarketsandMarkets is projecting that by 2015 that the global app market will reach $25 billion, up from $6.8 billion in 2010, having grown at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30 percent between 2009 through 2014.

Apple (AAPL) will still play a central role. M&M expects the Apple App Store will account for about 21 percent of revenues.

The research firm said the mobile app market was one of the few not to be affected by the global economic meltdown.

In 2008, there was a 146 percent growth in app downloads compared with 2007, with over one billion downloads in 2008 compared with 450 million in 2007. And 2009 was even bigger, with 6.4 billion downloads.

The popularity of smartphones fueled this growth. Now, with the advent of 4G and improvements in delivery, there are even greater opportunities, said MarketsandMarkets. “In relatively saturated markets, such as North America and Europe, operators’ subsidies and carrier wars have been fuelling the growth of the mobile applications market in the region,” the researchers said.

As it stands, North America was the largest app market in 2009 with a 41.6 percent of revenue. But Asia led the way in terms numbers of downloads.

The researchers project Europe will be the leading market in 2015, with a 34 percent compound annual growth rate between 2010 and 2015.

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Ryan Kim in GigaOm highlights another trend predicted at MarketsandMarkets: “While on-deck stores like Google’s (GOOG) Android Market and the App Store represent 3/4 of app revenues, off-deck application downloads are expected to grow faster through independent stores like GetJar and others and will ultimately eclipse on-deck stores by 2015.”

He said developers should accept an ecosystem with multiple app markets. “Amazon (AMZN), for example, recently launched a new app market for Android, joining other markets from carriers such as Verizon Wireless (VZ). While it may mean more work updating multiple apps in various stores, the payoff may be greater for developers willing to wade into various app stores. And as the numbers show, Apple’s dominance in app revenues will subside over time as competing platforms mature into solid revenue makers for app developers. That’s another reason for app developers to look at all their options.”

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