Not only is there an app for that, but there’s also a huge market for that app. According to the most recent numbers regarding app sales, four major app stores generated more than 13.4 billion app downloads in the first quarter of 2013. That’s an 11 percent increase in total downloads over the fourth quarter of 2012.
The rise isn’t just free downloads. Over the same period, app revenues increased by 9 percent over the previous quarter, bringing in earnings of $2.2 billion. Those revenues include apps purchased at a flat rate, purchases made within apps, and subscriptions related to an app. The numbers were announced in a release from Canalys.
Google Play is expected to be the first app store to hit the 1 million mark this year for the number of apps available in its store. Apple’s App Store currently offers more than 775,000 apps. But the Apple App Store is still tops when it comes to revenues, taking in 74 percent of the market’s total app revenues, or $1.6 billion. Google Play has a slight command in the app download market, claiming 51 percent of all quarterly app downloads.
A Two-Horse Race, for Now
Apple’s App Store and Google Play are by far the leaders in the app industry, dominating the mobile app economy. BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Store, meanwhile, comprise a much smaller slice of the market pie. BlackBerry 10 only recently surpassed 100,000 apps available in its store. However, this is greatly improved from the 70,000 app offerings at its launch.
While Windows and BlackBerry are well behind Apple and Google, they are far from obscure. Depending on how their phone sales go and how well the companies develop their app offerings, they could gradually increase their stake and create a more competitive market.
Targeting Consumers Through Their Mobile Apps
The upward trending of app downloads and sales is great for retail and enterprise app developers trying to capitalize on their consumer base’s mobile needs. It will be important for those organizations to understand how mobile owners use their devices, including downloading and engaging with apps.
For example, while Android device owners are more likely to download apps, owners of Apple devices are more likely to spend money on their downloads, making Apple a better destination for paid apps. And app developers will have to decide whether or not they value the smaller marketplaces of Blackberry and Windows phone users enough to develop apps for their online stores.
If Windows and Blackberry can develop a stronger foundation for their mobile applications, retail and enterprise app developers could be very fortunate in developing a mobile presence before these app stores explode in popularity. But there’s also risk in devoting resources to develop apps for platforms that may never make much of a splash in the mobile marketplace.
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