The sages at Gartner have been stroking their beards and looking into the mobile apps crystal ball.
And they reckon that global mobile app store downloads will reach almost 18 billion in 2011, more than double last year’s total of 8.2 billion.
Revenue is predicted to top $15 billion this year, although that figure includes advertising funds generated by apps, as well as the purchase price. That number is almost treble 2010’s total of $5.2 billion.
Stephanie Baghdassarian, Research Director at Gartner, commented: “Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so.”
“We strongly believe 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. Native apps will survive the Web enhancements only when they will provide a more-personal and richer experience to the ‘vanilla’ experience that a Web-based app will deliver.”
Indeed, the analysts at Gartner believe that by 2014, growth in the mobile app market will hit 1000%, and reach revenues of $58 billion.
Just last weekend, Apple’s App Store hit the ten billion download mark, and can expect to accelerate considerably from there, if this report is correct.
However, Gartner notes that alternatives to Apple are gaining support. The firm names Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, Rim’s App World, Microsoft Marketplace and Samsung Apps as the key competitors who witnessed healthy growth in 2010.