Just under 6 billion mobile applications will be downloaded in 2010, up from 2.4 billion last year, according to the latest ABI Research report, fuelled primarily by the dominance of Apple’s App Store.
In fact, ABI claims that Apple will continue to dominate the apps market in the next five years, as shown in the diagram below.
“The iPhone will continue to be the leading app platform, with a database of over 125,000 applications offering niche and localised content,” said ABI wireless research associate Bhavya Khanna. “Other platforms are still playing catch-up, with Android being the fastest gainer among them. ABI Research expects that with over 30,000 applications now available, over 800 million Android applications will be downloaded in 2010.”
Revenues from mobile app sales, however, are expected to decline by 2012, as competition has led to downward pressure on application prices; and a greater proportion of ‘must-have’ applications will begin to have free or advertising-supported substitutes. In addition, notes ABI, many handset makers such as Nokia, and Motorola with its Android handsets, have started to bundle applications that allow users to connect to popular social networks, instant messaging, and GPS services.
“As competition heats up, app makers are both dropping prices and ‘going free’ to stay on top of the download charts,” commented the research company’s VP of forecasting, Jake Saunders.