2010 will be a big year for mobile application downloads, with almost 6 billion mobile applications forecast to be downloaded, up from an estimated 2.4 billion in 2009, according to ABI Research.
Smartphone Sales Spur Mobile App Growth
The rapid adoption of smartphones, registering a sales growth of 20% in 2009, as well as the proliferation of application stores are the major drivers for this expansion, according to ABI. In addition, two new smartphone platforms will make their debut later this year; Samsung’s Bada OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series. Both platforms, similar to Apple’s, will have proprietary application stores and are racing to populate these stores with winning applications.
Mobile App Downloads, Revenues Will Peak Soon
Looking ahead the next several years, ABI predicts that mobile application downloads will grow to about 6.5 billion in 2011, with further growth to slightly less than 7 billion in 2012 and about 7 billion in 2013. Downloads are then expected to begin a slow decline in 2014.
In addition, ABI forecasts that revenues from mobile application downloads will peak in 2012 and then start declining in 2013. ABI cites downward pressure on application prices, the proliferation of free and advertising-supported applications, and bundled applications from major handset providers as drivers for this revenue decline.
iPhone Remains on Top
The iPhone platform, which represented about 70% of all mobile application downloads in 2009 and close to 50% in 2010, is expected to remain the leading mobile application platform through 2015. iPhone applications will continue to represent roughly 50% of all mobile application downloads, with the Android platform showing the most growth of competing platforms. ABI predicts 800 million Android applications will be downloaded this year.
iPhone Users Download Most Apps
iPhone users downloaded the most apps in Q4 2009 with an average of 37 per user, according to The Nielsen Company‘s App Playbook. Android users came in next with an average of 22 app downloads per user. Users of other devices downloaded an average of 16 apps, putting them ahead of smartphone OS brands such as Palm (14), Windows Microsoft Mobile (13) and Blackberry (10).
About the Survey: ABI Research’s “Mobile Applications Market Data” study tracks mobile application downloads and revenues segmented by mobile operating system platform. The database includes historical data and forecasts for application downloads for all major mobile OSs including Symbian, iPhone OS and Android. It also provides mobile application revenue forecasts, and an overview of the major mobile application storefronts.