New research from market analyst firm Canalys shows that the top four app stores hit 13.4 billion downloads worldwide in the first quarter of 2013. This is an 11 percent increase over all of 2012 combined. C/Net reports.
Apple's App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry World are the four most used app stores and combined for $2.2 billion in revenue off app downloads in the first quarter, a 9 percent increase over 2012. Apple's App Store took home the most dough with about 74 percent of the market share.
While Google Play had less cash to put in the bank, it saw the greatest number of downloads -- roughly 51 percent of the stores' combined total. Apple came in at a close second for downloads.
China has an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 mobile application developers catering to the approximate quarter billion mobile phone users that own smartphones, reports HQ magazine, a CSOFT International publication. While most apps are free, Chinese users are willing to pay a premium to gain access to additional features or competitive advantages.
According to HQ, China is now the largest market for smartphones in the world, surpassing the United States in usage.
The U.S. still leads in iOS and Android devices with 181 million units, compared to 167 million in China, 35 million in the United Kingdom, and 28 million in Japan. While still dominated by America, mobile is a global phenomenon, Khalaf said. China grew 293 percent in iOS and Android device activations in the last year. Vietnam grew 269 percent, and Colombia grew 260 percent.
In terms of minutes of use per day, mobile app consumption in the U.S. has reach 127 minutes, compared to 168 minutes for TV and 70 minutes for web browsing. In 2010, it was 70 minutes for web browsing, 66 minutes for mobile apps, and 162 minutes for the TV.
“This industry did not exist in 2008, but in the last year, $18 billion in revenue was generated from mobile apps,” Khalaf said. “It’s taken the web about 16 years to get huge, but mobile is matching that in about four.”
People spend about 43 percent of their time with smartphones playing games. But social networking has come on strong, accounting for 26 percent of time spent.
Comparing the cash pouring into Apple’s App Store versus its app marketplace competitor Google Play isn’t much of a contest. Wired reports.
A November study from app analytics company App Annie shows that the App Store’s monthly revenues are 300 percent greater than Google Play’s. But why does the huge disparity persist? Especially since the number of Android users out there in the mobile world long ago surpassed those using iOS. The short answer, developers say, is Apple’s maniacal quality control. But they also stress that the very same control-freak approach often means Android is a better choice to launch and grow some kinds of app businesses.
There are a number of factors that contribute to Apple’s App store revenue dominance. The App Store was the first, it is the largest, and you probably already have a credit card on file with Apple. But the most important reason for its financial success, developers say, is Apple’s tortuous approval process.
What personal information does your mobile phone reveal about you? Do you care?
Many Americans do, according to new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that sheds some light on mobile-privacy concerns. CNN reports.
According to Pew's report, 54% of cell phone users in the U.S. have decided not to install an app once they discovered how much of their personal information it would access. (The amount of sensitive info an app can access typically is indicated by the "permissions" the app requests, listed on its information page.)
Also, nearly one-third of mobile app users report uninstalling an app from their phone because they learned it was collecting personal information they didn't wish to share. People from the lowest-income households (earning $30,000 or less per year) and men across all demographics were most likely to report taking this step.
But many mobile-privacy concerns stem not from the apps you download, but from what can happen with a device that can divulge so much sensitive information once it's out of your hands -- especially when it's in someone else's hands.
Most cell phone users are somewhat aware of mobile privacy and many take at least some basic measures to protect it.
What's the most successful mobile payment system to date? It's an application that can be downloaded onto your phone to pay for coffee. Yes, the Starbucks app, launched in January 2011, has processed 55 million transactions. The app, which is quite simple, uses a bar-code-like technology to scan your phone. But that's as far as it goes -- it's a payment app used by only one merchant. C/net reports.
Then why is it so popular? It's not because you can pay for a latte with your phone instead of pulling out cash or a credit card, but because it's also your loyalty card. It keeps track of how many times you've visited the store and what you've purchased so that Starbucks can push you more offers and coupons that keep you coming into its stores. And the beauty of integrating this into a mobile app is that you don't have to carry around that card on a key chain or tucked into your wallet. It's always with you on your phone.
Despite how much attention it's given, the mobile app economy isn't as big as you might think. Based on an aggregation of data points from iSuppli, Forrester Research, company releases, and our own estimates, mobile app revenues were a little under $3.5 billion last year.
Apple announced at WWDC earlier this month that the App Store had paid out $5 billion to developers since its inception. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of App Store transactions, which means it has generated cumulative revenues of $7.15 billion since its introduction in 2008.
Apple may have paid out $5bn to app developers, but many apps still flop. But is that a problem? The Guardian reports.
Technology blog Asymco has published an excellent post crunching the numbers, noting that the App Store currently generates 49.5m app downloads every day, and has a run rate of $4.3bn a year. That's revenues from sales of paid apps and in-app purchases on iOS alone, although it excludes advertising and other revenue streams (plush toys, hardware accessories and so on).
Industry analyst Canalys has been conducting its own research, with senior analyst Tim Shepherd making a sobering claim:
"We estimate that up to two-thirds of the apps in leading consumer app store catalogues receive fewer than 1,000 downloads in their first year, and a significant proportion of those get none at all."
"These inventors and wheedlers, dreamers and hucksters, were making the all-powerful software apps of their day: popular songs, sold then as widely distributed sheet music and phonograph records. They even had something of an addictive "Angry Birds" app back then: Irving Berlin."
Irving Berlin as Angry Birds? It's a stretch. Yet the polarised views on whether apps are going to continue their explosive growth or crash from a height distract from the real picture. The vast majority of apps fail. A tiny proportion make a killing.
The growing ubiquity of smartphones in the US is helping to drive the surge in app downloads, but as Nielsen reports the average number of apps per device has also increased significantly over the past year, reports TheNextWeb.
Nielsen notes that this time last year, 38% of US mobile subscribers had a smartphone, whereas that figure sits at 50% today. And Nielsen says that Android and iOS users accounted for 88% of people who downloaded an app in the past 30 days.
Interestingly, however, in the past twelve months the average number of apps per smartphone has risen to 41 from 32, representing a 28% rise.
According to TheNextWeb, Skyscanner, the flight and travel website, is undermining competitors with its well-designed mobile app, proving that the mobile audience should be a focus for growth.
Skyscanner has seen seven million downloads since it launched its first app for iOS last year and business is growing steadily for the Scottish company. Late last year the company hit five million downloads and users ratings average at four and a half stars across both iOS and Android.
The sector has spawned nearly $20 billion in sales and 466,000 jobs, according to one recent study, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In a national economy stuck in low gear, the app economy is providing some pop to America's jobs engine that could, in a few years, make a measurable difference.
Mobile game Draw Something has been downloaded 50 million times in just 50 days, the game's owner has said, reports the BBC.
Zynga, which bought the game's developer OMGPOP last month, said they believed the figures made it the "fastest growing" mobile game of all time.
The simple game involves players drawing pictures in order to guess words, much like board game Pictionary.
At peak times, Draw Something players create over 3,000 drawings per second.
In a statement, Zynga said: "We believe it's not only the fastest growing original mobile game of all time - 50 days to hit 50 million downloads - but one of the fastest growing web sensations that we've seen.
U.S.-based software startup WhatsApp, the fast-growing mobile messaging service, denies it's a threat to telephone carriers and the cash they earn from SMS messages. Reuters reports.
Instead, its co-founder, Brian Acton, said in a rare interview that WhatsApp was helping carriers move their customers to data packages that would, in the long term, prove more profitable.
WhatsApp is the most successful of a number of applications that users can download to their mobile phones to share messages, photos and videos.
According to Internet traffic monitor Allot Communications Ltd, WhatsApp accounted for 18 percent of instant messaging bandwidth in 2011, up from 3 percent in 2011.
There is little question that the growth in applications like WhatsApp is lowering SMS traffic. Stefan Zehle, CEO of UK-based Coleago Consulting, wrote in a blog post in January that mobile operators in Taiwan reported a 12 percent decline in SMS messages in 2011, a drop he attributed directly to users switching to WhatsApp.
The impact on the bottom-line is stark: Ovum, a technology research consultancy, calculated in a report released in February that operators lost $13.9 billion (8.7 billion pounds) in SMS revenue last year.
Wealthier smartphone users are less likely to play games or tweet and will opt for news, travel or finance apps, according to a new study, reports Reuters.
The research by The Luxury Institute focused on app usage among wealthy consumers, who earn an annual income of $150,000 or more. They tend to be older, with a mean age of 52.
As you get older and have family and significant others, aging parents, and a lot more assets and investments, you're going to need apps for far more relevant things than playing games and chatting with your peers," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute.
You’ve probably heard it all before but China Mobile is a behemoth. The state-owned operator has the most subscribers of any any telco in the world — 655 million — and yet it still does not have a partnership to sell Apple’s iPhone in China. But that isn’t stopping it dominate the share of iPhone users in China’s one billion plus mobile market though. TheNextWeb reports.
According to Sina Tech – via Penn Olson — China Mobile has announced that it has surpassed 15 million iPhone users in the country. Impressive though that is, it means that the telecom giant has seen 5 million new iPhone activations since October.
That’s a rate of more than 35,000 per day and each and everyone of these users is operating the phone on China Mobile’s 2G network as Apple has, as yet, been unable to support China Mobile’s 3G network with a compatible version of the iPhone.
Apple announced that it had hit the milestone late Friday with a graphic on its Website. MacWorld reports.
It was only 14 months ago, that iOS device owners had downloaded a measly 10 billion apps. In other words, the App Store saw 10 billion apps downloaded in its first two and a half years, and another 15 billion apps in the last 14 months.
People with iPhones or Android phones may download a lot of apps, but they tend to use very few of them after a while. The Atlantic reports.
... Anindya Datta, founder of Mobilewalla, an app analytic firm, told USA Today that there are about one million apps available for the four most popular mobile operating systems -- Android, Apple, BlackBerry, and Microsoft -- but only 10 percent of them have been "discovered."
Another Pew report showed that half of cell phone users have apps, but only 16 percent of U.S. adults have ever paid for an app, and among those that own apps, only half report using them on a weekly basis. Kristen Purcell, the Pew researcher responsible for the most recent comprehensive report on apps, found that the overwhelming majority of smartphone users open five or fewer apps once a week, and that the novelty of apps tends to wear off relatively quickly.
Social messaging applications cost mobile network operators $13.9bn in lost SMS revenue last year, according to Analysis firm Ovum which studied global use of popular services like Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger and Facebook chat. The BBC reports.
However, the study did not factor in the extra income networks received from mobile data costs because of increased internet usage resulting from social messaging.
A study conducted in April 2011 by research firm Comscore suggested that 4% of UK smartphone users had sent a message on Whatsapp that month.
Another survey, carried out in June 2011 by YouGov, showed that the huge majority of smartphone users - 81% - still considered SMS the key way to send messages on a mobile.
A new study out today documents the impact of apps on the U.S. economy, concluding that 466,000 jobs have been created by the “App Economy” since 2007 — including programmers, marketers, interface designers, managers and support staff working on apps and infrastructure for platforms including Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, Facebook and Windows Phone. CNet reports via GeekWire.
The New York Metro area has the largest proportion of jobs in the sector, at 9.2 percent. The Seattle region is fourth, at 5.7 percent, behind San Francisco and San Jose.
... The research was conducted by economist Michael Mandel for industry group TechNet based on trends in help-wanted ads, in addition to other economic data. A summary of the findings is available here.
The global market for mobile health applications for smartphones is expected to nearly double in 2012, rising to $1.3 billion, according to a new study. Medcity News reports via @jranck.
While a projected doubling in growth is certainly impressive, it pales in comparison to what the mobile health apps market experienced in 2011, when it grew seven-fold to $718 million, according to research2guidance, a German firm that specializes in research into mobile markets.
Nonetheless, the market for mobile health apps is in its “embryonic state” and has plenty of room for growth. The market’s anticipated $1.3 billion size in 2012 is only a fraction of the overall $6 trillion global healthcare market, according to the report.
Google's Android Market just passed the 400,000 application mark last weekend, ringing in the New Year by closing the gap on Apple's App Store, reports Netherlands-based app store stats tracker Distimo. Apple has 500,000 apps in their App Store.
-- 2/3 of the available applications are free in Android Market
-- Developers published nearly five apps on average a year ago.
The last week of 2011 saw a massive jump in apps downloaded and devices activated as those receiving gifts jumped right in and started using them, downloading a combined 1.2 billion iOS and Android apps, reports Flurry. The previous weekly high was 857M downloads.
With its free messaging service and ubiquitous appeal to owners of Korean smartphones, Kakao Talk is now witnessing daily text-message traffic of 1 billion, it said Monday. TheNextWeb reports via The Chosunilbo reports.
The number of text messages exchanged each day has reached one billion within a year and nine months of the service being launched in March of 2010," said a spokesman for the company, adding that this translates as 10,000 messages per second or 690,000 every minute.
Kakao Talk now has over 30 million subscribers, having first hit the 10 million mark in April of last year. Around 80 percent use the service every day, and each user has an average of 65 friends. The number of overseas users stands at 6 million.
The free application is available for the iPhone and Android with a beta version for the BlackBerry recently released. The concept is similar to the hugely popular WhatsApp, and Kakao Talk users can send and receive a range of messages, including text, photos, videos, voice and contact information.
According to new data by Flurry Analytics, a record-number of new devices activated on Christmas morning is leading to a tidal wave of new mobile application downloads. All Things D reports.
-- Apple’s App Store is on pace to exceed 10 billion downloads this year alone, which is twice the number it recorded over the three previous years combined.
-- The Android Market is also setting records. Over the past seven months, it has achieved more than 7 billion downloads, which more than triples its life-to-date downloads of 3 billion reached in May 2011.
At those rates, both operating systems are generating roughly one billion downloads a month, or the equivalent of 33 million a day.
For the first time ever, we used mobile apps more than opening up a browser window to access Web-based services. Flurry Analytics found that users had crossed over in mid-2011; we spent 81 minutes a day in apps versus 74 minutes in a browser. A year earlier, the tally had been an average of 64 minutes in a browser versus just 43 minutes in apps.