Data & Research

App Store swallows up 83% of $2.2 billion global mobile apps market

Games reckoned to be 52 percent of the action

App Store swallows up 83% of $2.2 billion global mobile apps market
Whilst Windows Phone 7 Marketplace demonstrates growth at a faster rate than the App Store and Android Market, it still has some way to go to catch either in terms of market share and revenues.

Microsoft’s mobile platform is, of course, in its infancy, yet the developer support already on board allied to the licensing partnership for the OS with Nokia bodes well for its future.

A future which, if the latest research from analyst house IHS is to be believed, looks particularly bright for Apple and its digital storefront.

Gobble, gobble, gobble

With an 82.7 percent portion of the global mobile applications pie, Apple’s App Store has swallowed up $1.78 billion of the total $2.2 billion revenue generated across the industry.

"In 2010, competitors managed to close the gap with Apple’s iPhone in terms of providing smart phone products with compelling user interfaces," said Jack Kent, analyst, mobile media, for IHS.

"However, in terms of mobile application stores, Apple remains far ahead of the competition, with the other stores so far unable to replicate Apple’s success in generating revenue from users.

"Apple, in contrast, has been able to maintain advantage by leveraging its tightly controlled ecosystem - combining compelling hardware and content with the capability to offer consumers a trusted, integrated and simple billing service via iTunes."

Fast moving competition

Despite growing its takings by 132 percent year-on-year and benefitting from sales of apps designed for the iPad, the App Store has seen its overall share slip from 92.8 percent in 2009.

And the reason for this 10 per cent slide?

The exponential surge in interest - albeit from a lower base – from consumers in software developed for RIM’s BlackBerry App World, Nokia’s Ovi Store, and Google’s Android Market.

RIM, Nokia, and Google on the rise

Even before the launch of their slate of tablets, Research in Motion and Google have enjoyed tremendous uptake on their app platforms, swelling their coffers by 360 and 861.5 percent respectively over the past year.

Sandwiched between the two lies Nokia’s Ovi Store with 4.9 percent of the 2010 market share for sales of $105 million.

The rise and rise of Nokia’s Ovi ecosystem will be hampered in the mid- to long-term, though, by the Finnish firm’s recent alliance with Microsoft and its transitioning of smartphones to Windows Phone 7.

iPad's importance grows

As for that bright Apple future, IHS claims the Cupertino-based company will maintain more than half of all mobile app sales through 2014, with the iPad’s contribution to Apple’s bottom line increasing from the current 20 percent to 50 in 3 years’ time.

Much of that revenue will derive from games, which according to IHS’s report comprise 52.2 percent of mobile app sales from all vendors.

The mobile apps business itself is projected to be worth $3.9 billion this year, and it’ll be fascinating to see whether Windows Phone 7 can establish a foothold in the market and what kind of impact the raft of imminent tablets will have on the above rankings.

[source: IHS]

With a degree in German up his sleeve Richard squares up to the following three questions every morning: FIFA or Pro Evo? XBox 360 or PS3? McNulty or Bunk?