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Mobile app stores set for solid 2011 growth

Posted: 06 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile apps? revenues? market?

The combined revenues from the four major mobile application stores run by Apple Inc., Google Inc., Nokia Corp. and Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd will leap 77.7 percent in 2011 to $3.8 billion, with the Apple Application Store projected to rise up in three-quarters share of the total market, according to IHS iSuppli's Screen Digest research.

"With consumers continuing to show robust, unflagging interest in downloading games and other applications to devices like smart phones and tablets, collective revenues from the four stores will climb sharply this year," said Jack Kent, mobile media analyst of IHS.

The combined revenue for the four stores in 2011 will rise from $2.1 billion in 2010 and from $830.6 million in 2009. The application store revenues were first tracked in 2008 in a market worth $206.01 million.

The total download revenue from games and other applications are projected to continue rising in the next few years, jumping to $5.6 billion in 2012, $6.9 billion in 2013 and $8.3 billion in 2014. The four application stores are said to be the major players at present in the field, but other sites, such as Microsoft's Windows Marketplace, conceivably could gain enough size and presence in the future to shake up the market.

The projected figures for Apple App Store this year call for revenue of $2.91 billion, up 63.4 percent from $1.78 billion in 2010. "Given that Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad are the market leaders in their field, the company's App Store is expected to take in 76 percent of revenue this year and retain 60 percent market share by 2014, despite efforts by the other stores to match Apple's ability to monetize its users," commented by IHS.

It also said that Apple will lead the way with revenue gained from in-application purchasesor additional purchases made within a paid application, such as bonus game levelswhich will serve as a key growth driver for revenue up to 2014.

According to IHS, Google's Android Market revenue will soar 295.4 percent this year to $425.36 million, on its way to become the second-largest application store. The ascension of Google Market to runner-up position means a fall in ranking for last year's second-place finisher, RIM. This year, the BlackBerry App World will finish third with expected revenue of $279.11 million. Despite 69.2 percent growth in 2011 that will rival Apple's Application Store revenue expansion, BlackBerry Application World will have the fewest downloads, numbering about 772.2 million, compared to a staggering 10.3 billion downloads for the Apple Application Store and 5.8 billion downloads for Android Market.

In last place this year will be the Nokia Ovi Store, with $201.48 million in anticipated revenue and 1.1 billion downloads from Nokia's Symbian smart phone users. Both the RIM and Nokia application stores will continue over the next few years to be relegated to the two lower positions as Apple and Google remain the dominant players, IHS Screen Digest figures show.

The total number of downloaded applications in 2011 is expected to reach 18.1 billion by year-end compared to 9.5 billion last year, 3.1 billion in 2009 and 419.2 million in 2008. By 2014, it is believed that downloaded applications will top some 33 billion.

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