If one examines the mobile industry over the last 24 months, it is remarkable to note how extraordinarily it has developed. The hardware and software to networks have particularly evolved at rates never experienced before by any other industry. For example, last year alone (2012), the global mobile phone shipments reached a staggering 1.6 Billion units. This year, forecasts suggest that app revenues will reach an estimated $25B. Taking into consideration services generated like mobile advertising, it is safe to assume that the entire industry worth a trillion dollars and still growing.
The mobile app economy owes much of its global fame to a dominant quartet of mobile operating systems made up of Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry OS, and Windows Phone 7/8. However, app stores are more deserving of this credit. This is because; depending on how you look at it, many of the industry’s successes can be traced back directly or indirectly to Apps stores.
In terms of the magnitude of apps and number of downloads, there are 6 leading app stores right now. These are the following:
Apple’s App store: number of apps 850 000 apps with more than 50 billion downloads.
Google Play store: has over 800 000 apps, also very close to 50 billion downloads.
Blackberry’s App world: over 120 000 apps and over 1.2 billion downloads.
Amazon’s app store: very close to 100 000 apps with than 16 million downloads.
Nokia’s ovi store: has over 120 000 apps and more than 365 million downloads.
The Microsoft store: estimated 150 thousand apps with an estimated 3 million downloads.
It is almost unimaginable to realize that, just a little over 6 years ago, the ‘app economy’ didn’t exist. Nevertheless, such numbers become even more significant when reflecting on the opportunities generated, particularly by the app economy. Today, it is estimated that the app economy has generated over 500 000 jobs in the US and 500 000 jobs in Europe alone. It would interesting to note how many jobs it has created in Africa.
The main idea behind this post was to take a brief reflective view into the app market in order to gain broader perspective of where we are and where we heading with respect to mobile apps. To gain much deeper insight, below is an infographic which paints a broader picture of the nature of the current state of mobile apps.