An apparent “gold rush” resulting from U.S. smartphone app downloads describes the market to come. In fact, according to the IT research firm the Yankee Group, nearly 7 billion U.S. smartphone app downloads will garner $4.2 billion in revenue by 2013.
And with the number of smartphone users set to quadruple to 160 million at the same time, app store owners can position themselves to take advantage of this industry movement.
Two Yankee Group (News - Alert) reports, “Forecasting the U.S. Mobile App Gold Rush” and “Which Mobile App Platform Deserves Your Software?” offer insights for fitting the app to the platform, pricing apps appropriately and suggestions for companies to hone in on their marketing efforts.
“Apps have been around for years,” said Carl Howe, director at the Boston-based research firm and author of the reports. “But app stores have created mass-market products with million-dollar revenue streams attached. Every mobile software developer could be the next Bill Gates (News - Alert) for smartphones, but only if they bet on the platforms with the right reach and fit for their application.”
While Nokia (News - Alert), Apple, Windows Mobile and RIM each have an installed base of more than 25 million devices, not all platforms are created equal, Yankee Group officials said. For now, consumer developers should focus on RIM’s Blackberry, where consumer-oriented apps are scarce, while those aiming at enterprises should target Apple’s iPhone and Google’s (News - Alert) Android to address those relatively untapped markets.
Further,paid apps will account for one in four downloads in 2013, according to Howe. While 99-cent apps are the norm now, Yankee Group predicts that paid apps will cost $2.37 on average by 2013, increasing today’s $343 million download market by more than 10 times over those five years.
Howe also concluded thatapp store owners need to attract developers by marketing their apps and promoting the store’s successes via top 25 lists, download counters and running revenue tallies.
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Erin Harrison is a Senior Editor with TMC. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison