There is a revolution that is going on and it’s got nothing to do with politics. Over the last five years it has led to the rise of tens of thousands of small business start-ups but it’s not because the banks were investing in them. In 2012 more than 1.2 billion people were using them and by 2017 that number will rise to more than 4.4 billion and, let’s face it, without Apple’s foray into smart devices the revolution would never have occurred – what are we talking about? the App market of course.
Today there are an estimated 800,000 in the Apple store and around the same number on the Android platform and you can literally find an App for just about anything. From recipes to love, from inspirational quotes to communications, from file sharing and drop boxes, banking and finance there is literally nothing that you can’t find or download.
In fact, some of the most successful start-ups in recent years just would not have been able to grow to scale with the #gamechanger that Apple bought about. For example, recently WhatsApp was sold to Facebook for $19 billion – do you think Jan Khoum would have had a business had it not been for the App focus and, there is just no stopping its growth.
Setting the scene for our focus on Cloud Computing and App Development we took a look at the data so far and where things are predicted to be in the burgeoning App market over coming five years.
Take a look at the breakdown of where the App users are worldwide:
Portio Research (March 2013) estimates: 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps at the end of 2012. This is forecast to grow at a 29.8 percent each year, to reach 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017. Much of this growth will come from Asia, which will account for almost half of app users in 2017.
mobiThinking note: 1.2 billion apps users is a large number, considering that analysts estimate that there aren’t much more than a billion smartphones worldwide, and that apps development in recent years has largely focused on smartphones (mostly just one or two types of smartphones), but it is still only a minority of phone users. There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, according to the ITU (February 2013) – that means approximately 17 percent of mobile subscribers use apps.
Analyst estimates for downloads of apps in 2013 range from 56 to 82 billion. In 2017, there could be 200 billion downloads.
ABI Research (March 2013) predicts: 56 billion smartphone apps will be downloaded in 2013. By operating system: 58 percent will be Google Android; 33 percent Apple iOS; 4 percent Microsoft Windows Phone; 3 percent BlackBerry.
14 billion tablet apps will be downloaded in 2013; 75 percent will be iOS apps; 21 percent Android; 2 percent Windows. Android includes Amazon Kindle Fire, which will account for 4 percent of downloads. “With its vast installed base and the generally improved conditions for app building, ABI Research expects a growing number of smartphone-focused developers to adopt an Android-first strategy within the year,” concludes ABI Research.
Portio Research (March 2013) forecasts: 82 billion apps will be downloaded worldwide in 2013, and by 2017 there will be more than 200 billion downloads per year.
mobiThinking note: Download stats should be taken with a pinch of salt. Remember, there’s no way for a user to try an app without downloading it. So an app’s download stats remain the same whether an app is used once and deleted or is used five times a day, every day, for a year. When app stores rank apps by number of downloads, rather than by user satisfaction/reviews or active users, it makes it harder for users to find the best apps for them – this is called “discoverability” in the trade – thus making it incredibly difficult for new apps to get noticed, unless the publisher has a fortune to spend on promoting their app through advertising.
So as you can see, as we set the scene for this week’s conversation – the App market is where entrepreneurs need to be and its where you can still make a cool billion just like the team over at WhatsApp ... keep an eye out at www.entrehub.org all this week as we can stuck into the Apps and the cloud.
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