Just the beginning
Leading cross-platform app store GetJar has published a report commissioned to look at the growth potential of the mobile app market up to 2012. It supports the general assumption that we're still at the beginning of a phase of exponential growth in this area.
While all commissioned reports have to be taken with a pinch of salt - assuming the person writing the report has an interest in pleasing whoever pays the bills - the author of this one seems to be pretty well respected and his findings illuminating.
The report predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the value of the mobile app market - including advertising and virtual goods - of 62 percent, taking it from $4.1 billion last year to $17.5 billion by 2012. Furthermore, it predicts a near annual doubling of the number of app downloads from 7 billion last year to almost 50 billion in 2012.
As you can see from the graphs below, the vast majority of the revenue growth is expected to come from developed economies, but the Far East looks set to catch up before long. There will also be a shift in emphasis from operator-managed (ondeck) apps to offdeck ones.
"As the number of active data subscribers across the planet continues to grow and as new forms of consumer electronics devices come online, we will continue to see the proliferation of apps in many directions," concludes the report.