A Brief Introduction - The Mobile Applications and App Stores Market

Published Date : Jul 17, 2014

The burgeoning mobile applications market is one that has witnessed accelerated growth over the last five years. Every major brand in the world, irrespective of the industry, has woken up to the importance of investing in a mobile application. People are increasingly accessing the internet and services via handheld devices, as opposed to their desktop computers. This has made it imperative for brands to focus their energies on developing easy-to-use mobile applications. There are various application stores in this industry, and each brand endeavors to make its presence felt across all of these stores. So much so, that the average number of mobile applications per brand stand at 25 as of 2014. Media companies have many more applications that target various facets of their business operations.

Thus, the mobile applications market that was already booming, is witnessing an even higher interest from companies worldwide. In many cases, these mobile applications do not help generate high revenue, but they are critical to building the brand equity of these companies.

Factors that are re-shaping the mobile applications market

The number of application stores (app stores) is surging globally. The availability of multi-platform applications has risen too. What has this done for the mobile application market? For one, it has re-shaped the dynamics of this market. Consumers have ample choice and as a result, competition is rife in this segment.

In the mobile applications and app stores market [http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/179326], the Apple App store remains an overall leader and brands lay a greater emphasis on developing applications for this store, as it has millions of users worldwide. The android market is not far behind, and has grown at a healthy rate over the last few years. Every major global brand now has a presence on the Android Market. Other key app stores are: the Amazon App Store and the Windows App Store.

The Mobile Applications and App Stores Consumer

The preference of mobile consumers differs based on their age group, country, income level, as well as occupation and other lifestyle choices. Keeping the ever-changing nature of the app store in mind, it is difficult for any one publisher to maintain their prime position in this market. A strategy to mitigate this problem is by publishing local applications. These apps target consumers based in a certain geographic area and app services are tuned according to the location.

The demand for games is the highest among all mobile application categories. Other popular categories under which applications are downloaded include: social media/networking and personalization apps. The highest revenue-generating markets in the app stores and mobile applications industry are: the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea.

The shape of things to come

As the mobile industry undergoes major transition, there is immense scope for application developers. The application developers’ community is propelled further by a growing number of handset manufacturers, mobile service networks, as well as other enterprises. All these aspects, coupled with a growing mobile networks infrastructure, have given a boost to the mobile application development stores. 

The number of mobile applications downloaded per year is running into millions, and this market is yet to reach its peak. Thus, the compound annual growth rate of the mobile applications and app stores market in likely to show an upward graph. The opportunities for revenue generation mostly lie in subscription services as well as in-app purchases. Both these revenue streams are referred to as ‘direct’. However, analysts also observe that while the number of application downloads will grow substantially, most of these applications are free of charge. Thus, it still remains to be seen what innovative strategies are employed by companies to monetize their app environment. Geographically speaking, the APAC region will see the highest growth rate and it is expected to account for at least 40% of the entire mobile applications market in the next two years. 

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