Ever since Apple popularized the iPhone and more importantly the 'Appstore' where one can buy/download apps to their iPhones, the market for 'Apps' has been heating up! The figures from Gartner research group summarizes it aptly. The Market size of Mobile Apps would reach 6.2 billion dollars by the year end and a whopping 30 billion dollars by 2013. The total number of downloads will reach 4.5 billion (from 2.5 billion last year) and will continue to grow at a steady pace and will reach 21 billion downloads by 2013! That's a lot!
In the current scenario, Apple is the market leader with more than 3 billion downloads in the last year and half. Other players include Blackberry, Google, Nokia, Microsoft, Symbian and recently Samsung (with their BADA). Everyone have their own app stores. Now we are talking only about the Mobile Phone manufacturers or Mobile Phone OS Creators here. Now other players in the value chain such as Mobile Phone Operators want to grab their own pie of this growing market. Interestingly, middle players like Adobe are also interested. They are in a position to offer a platform-independant, device-agnostic application layer in the form of Adobe AIR. Apple has blocked AIR applications to control the app market.
With so many pulls happening from different end, the space is getting quite hotter!
In the World Mobile Congress happening at Barcelona, 24 of the world's largest mobile phone operators have come together to create a unified appstore called as "Wholesale Applications community". The goal is very simple. To make it easier for the application developers to build and monetize their apps irrespective the mobile device or OS or technology. Some of the operators include Vodafone, China Mobile and Sprint. This initiative is appealing for the developers as they dont have to create and maintain different versions for different devices and appstore. The initiative is looking for a Common standard for application development and a open platform to enable the apps to run on any device/os.
We are at the nascent stages of 'apps' evolution. There is plenty of opportunity to spot and exploit. Keep watching this space...
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