App stores sales to reach $58bn by 2014: Gartner

Revenues of mobile application stores will grow by 1,000 per cent over the next three years to reach $58bn (£36bn) by 2014, according to new data from Gartner.

Gartner says that 17.7 billion applications will be downloaded this year i.e 2011, which will rise to 185 billion a year by 2014. A whopping 945 percent growth compared to 2011.

Free applications account for 81 per cent of all app stores’ traffic. Gartner explained that this percentage has been decreasing since 2008, but is likely to rise again during 2012 and 2014.

The increased interest in tablet devices will add to the application download demands, according to Gartner.

On the Average number of downloads per device, Gartner says that, while the average number of downloads per device onto a smartphone will remain stable as the market grows; media tablets will drive more downloads from consumers, boosting the overall average downloads per device.

Gartner believes that although Apple will continue to keep his dominance over the market in 2014 as well, it’s going to lose some share, as other stores gain momentum. In 20101, Apple’s App Store has 90 percent of the App market; as App Store drove close to nine application downloads out of 10 in 2010.

These are key insights from the Gartner report:

1) The huge popularity of app stores is more than just a passing fad.

I agree: What happened is Apple’s great emphasis on creating devices which beat all in user experience has trickled down to its App Store. As a result the apps have comfortably passed on the fad level.

2) There is a sizeable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a web-based app will be able to deliver.

Apps have already started delivering the experience one has on his/her conventional PC. In addition, what will be more important is that developers make or customize their apps for multiple platforms people own. This will ensure, apps that are category intensive, like those that can eb used by doctors will proliferate fast. As unlike Tech savvy people, these people don’t buy their devices taking into consideration the number of apps the device can use.

3) Native apps will survive the web enhancements only when they provide a more personal and richer experience to the 'vanilla' experience that a web-based app will deliver.

I Agree, else jail breakers are always there to help.

4) Apple started the trend with its App Store, and the hype spread through 2009 and 2010 as more stores gained traction. Newer entrants, such as Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Samsung Apps and RIM's App World, have emerged as strong competitors.

Here I want to add a few things. While some players will be gaining share app market share, by launching many devices with multiple players; as Android is doing. Some like RIM will be making use of their dominance in particular sectors. RIM will be increasingly focusing on its enterprise market and its image of being secure. Although other players will be focusing on security as well; as more apps will make people more choosy. --------

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