Why is it important to stay updated on the mobile apps market? There are not many people in the industry who would deny that the smartphone application market is booming.
But isn’t there every year another hyped industry and why does this market differ from the others. The picture becomes more clear if we compare the first 3 years of the smartphone application market with the early days of the mobile phone, mobile broadband and SMS market, to name just a few.
Mobile Apps: only 3 years to mass market
The ramp-up phase has never been so short with only 3 years to reach mass-market. Global app download numbers increased by 1600%, user base by 1200%, number of different smart devices by 700%, number of apps by 400% and even app store number increased by 200% in the first 3 years.
When looking at the initial phases of other markets, companies really had a lot of time to decide on if, how and when to enter the market. It seems that industry cycles become shorter and shorter and the ability of a company to react very quickly becomes even more important. It is like standing at a train station and having to decide which of the numerous passing high speed trains with different directions to jump on to, or to step back and miss this train and have to wait for the next opportunity because this one has definitely passed by.
Need constant adjustment to the changing market
To stay in the picture, once the company has decided to jump on, it doesn‘t mean that there is no need to change the train again after a few minutes. To make the link to the app market, the first two years were clearly Apple years. Since 2010 (third year) it is all about Android. With the partnership of Microsoft and Nokia, this might change again as deteriorating average application download numbers on the Android platform will make developers shift again their priorities.
The question of the most promising application types and categories comes next. Application numbers increase by almost 100,000 apps per quarter on all major app stores. This means that competition level in a category and platform can change overnight which has an immediate impact on download numbers.
Compared to these trends user behaviour and demographics in terms of age, gender, usage time, downloads etc. have not changed so quickly over the last three years but will do when applications proliferate into the mass market. There will be substantial differences per country and platform any company should be aware of, when formulating their application strategy.
Will the trains slow down in the near future? No, there is no evidence for that. What do you think, please let us know.
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