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Mobile Apps Take Off Running

17 ноября 2009

It’s no surprise that smartphones will be a big source of revenue in the next five years-50 million are already in use in the U.S., and 43 percent of Yankee Group survey respondents report that their next mobile device is likely to be a multimedia handset with a data plan.

But huge returns in this sector will come from a much smaller source: mobile apps. By 2013, Yankee Group predicts that nearly $4.2 billion will be generated annually as users find more ways to be productive, stay organized and entertain themselves on the go with mobile applications.

Two recent Yankee Group reports, “Which Mobile App Platform Deserves Your Software?” and “Forecasting the U.S. Mobile App Gold Rush,” explore the explosive growth of mobile apps, from business-specific tools to packing checklists and games, and look at the forces that will affect their success in the coming years. Today, U.S. smartphone owners download nearly 975 million apps annually. But as the installed base of smartphones increases to a predicted 170 million by 2013, that number is expected to balloon to 6.7 billion-26 percent of which will be paid apps.

This five-year, tenfold increase in revenue is being driven mainly by consumer apps-the most popular of which cost only 99 cents. Carl Howe, director of research at Yankee Group and author of the reports, points out that businesses analyze and test before rolling out software for their employees, but consumers look for apps to meet simple needs or wants and don’t mind paying less than a dollar at a time.

“Anyone who thinks this is going to slow down is wrong,” Howe says. “This is the new small software business, and it happens to have a lot of money behind it.”

The future of mobile apps is in adaptation. Teenage smartphone users make up one of the groups that download the most apps annually, and as they enter the workforce, they will bring their desire for mobile software into the business world. In addition, there are still many smartphone owners who don’t yet utilize their data plans. If platform owners can increase ease of use and ease of discovery for their apps-two factors Apple has excelled at, according to Howe-and court developers by standardizing systems and devices, the mobile app gold rush could yield even greater profits than predicted.

Story by Andrew Mitchell

Источник: 4G Trends

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