Global mobile app market to hit the $54 billion mark by 2020
Transparency Market Research data revealed that the global mobile applications market is expected to reach US$54.9 billion in the next four years at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.20 percent within the 2014-2020 forecast period.
The market, which was valued only at $16.9 billion in 2014, will continue to expand due to the fast growth in the smartphone manufacturing and consumption across the globe. Another crucial factor is the constant improvement in mobile and broadband network infrastructure especially in developing economies in Asia, as well as in advanced nations in North America and Europe.
The report also revealed that the continuous advancement in smartphone technology is encouraging developers to design and build more complex and interesting apps, a scenario that creates vaster space for newer competition among developers and investors in the app market. Currently, there are more than 102,062 million apps downloaded globally. This number is expected to improve to 260,000 million by 2017.
There would be a shift of dominance from North America to Asia Pacific as enhanced economic condition improves middle-class buying power. This encourages mobile phone manufacturers and carriers to double their efforts in countries like India, China, and other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, and the Philippines. “The region is expected to show the fastest growth rate due to its high population density, combined with an increasing market penetration of smartphones, improving mobile network coverage, and the introduction of low-budget smartphones,” the report said.
Mobile gaming apps have played a significant role in the growth of the global app market. In 2013, entertainment and gaming apps accounted for 40 percent of all mobile app downloads across the world. Apple iOS Store and Google Play Store remain the top choice for app stores by consumers, mainly because of the availability of apps and the number of users utilizing gadgets powered by iOS and Android, the two biggest operating systems on the market.
According to Statista.com, Google Play Store had a total of 1.6 million apps in 2015, while Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 1.5 million available apps. In addition, over 167 billion free apps and 12 billion paid-for apps have been downloaded across all app stores last year. This year, free app download volume is projected to grow to 211.31 billion downloads.
In 2015, Apple surpassed its app sales in 2013 by almost 200 percent as Apple devices users spent a total amount of $20 billion. Clash of Clans, Netflix, and Hulu are the three highest grossing apps for the same year.
The ever-expanding app market brought about by technological advancements in smartphone capabilities have also paved the way for the invention of several revolutionary apps. Among which are social journalism app Informacam, visually impaired aid app Be My Eyes, and multilingual finance and business news curation app Born2Invest.
“The app market is still in its nascent years and there will surely be more improvements,” said Born2Invest creator and CEO Dom Einhorn. “It’s a perfect time to innovate, improve existing technologies, and develop new niches. On our end, it’s all about making a truly global news app, by curating important business stories in over 50 languages for over 150 markets worldwide. In less than six months we manage to curate stories in 25 languages.”
App store analytics firm App Annie also revealed in a study that mobile applications downloaded on iOS generate far more revenue than those downloaded via Google Play. Apple is also starting to create a wide gap against Android in China, as Apple Users have increased by 400 percent over the past few years.
“In urban areas, Apple accounted for 25 percent of smartphone sales in Q1 2015, according to Kantar’s data. Apple had previously said that China had accounted for $16 billion in sales in the market while its mobile operating system grew year-over-year at the expense of Android. More importantly, perhaps, the number of first-time smartphone buyers in China who are selecting iPhone is still increasing,” Sarah Perez of TechCrunch explained.
Apple, Google, BlackBerry Limited, Y Media Labs, QBurst, Sourcebits, WillowTree Apps, Microsoft Corporation, OpenXcell, Technolabs, Handmark, and Softeq Development Corporation remain the key players in the global mobile applications market, all dominating respective sub-niches from software development to hardware to app sales itself.