North America Will Lead Mobile App Downloads

May 13, 2010

North America is poised to take the lead in smartphone downloads of mobile applications by 2011, according to data from ABI Research.

Currently, Europe leads all global regions in smartphone mobile application downloads, with North America coming in second, trailed by Asia-Pacific. However, by the end of next year, accelerating growth in North American mobile app downloads will push it ahead of Europe, whose growth curve is expected to flatten.


Asia-Pacific will remain in third place, with a growth curve expected to accelerate beyond the pace of Europe but not as much as North America. Although Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are not expected to become major downloaders of mobile apps between now and 2015, Latin America in particular will experience a large amount of growth in this area.

Global downloads of mobile apps are expected to peak at slightly less than 7 billion in 2013, and then begin a slow decline. While North America will retain its leadership at least through 2015, its growth curve will begin turning negative after 2013, as will Latin America’s. Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa will all maintain fairly flat growth curves as overall downloads of mobile app begin declining. ABI cites the increasing functionality of mobile websites, which lessens the need for apps, as a major driver for expected future decline in app download rates.

ABI Research sees two emerging trends in current global mobile app download patterns: Many applications (increasingly built on web standards) will migrate from app stores to regular websites, and for some sites users won’t need an app at all. In addition, more and more popular applications will be preloaded on mobile devices. Social networking apps in particular will be pre-loaded on new products.

2010 Marks Start of Mobile App Explosion
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 previous data from ABI Research. 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 almost 7 billion in 2013. Downloads are then expected to begin a slow decline in 2014.

Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This