The global appetite for mobile
applications will explode over the next two years, new research suggests.
A study done for Getjar, the
world’s second biggest app store, said the market will grow to $17.5 billion in
the next two years.
The study claimed downloads would
climb from 7 billion last year to 50 billion by 2012 – a 92 per cent
It found there had been a gold rush
with the number of app stores rising from four before 2008 to 48 today.
The study also suggests Apple’s
domination of the market could be challenged.
“We wanted to find out the
real value of the industry because we felt certain segments like the iPhone
were being over-hyped and so-called feature phones were being under-hyped,”
said Getjar founder and chief executive officer Ilja Laurs.
Feature phones are less powerful
than smart phones but can still run some third-party software.
While Apple’s App Store is regarded
as the dominant player, there are many more to choose from including those from
BlackBerry, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, and Samsung.
Google’s Android Marketplace, for
instance, has more than 30,000 apps made for smartphones running on its mobile
Mr Laurs said the figures
attributed to the iPhone’s value have been unbelievable in some cases.
“The value of the iPhone App
store ranges from as low as $700 million to $2.5 billion. You can see the range
is huge,” he said.
Mr Laurs said the research found
that feature phones should not be ignored in the rush to create apps for
“It is almost as if these
phones don’t exist. We know smartphones are an extremely important phenomenon,
but in terms of consumer mindshare and revenue share, feature phones represent
90 per cent of the global market compared to 10 per cent for smartphones and