January 26, 2011, 12:49 PM — This week has seen a flurry of research released on the mobile world. Among the key findings: the mobile app market is set to explode, Android is narrowing the gap with iPhone for developer interest and tablets are driving increases in computer shipments.
Mobile apps not just a fad, says Gartner
Let's start with the mobile app market, which is set to triple its revenues in 2011 according to research firm Gartner. In all, Gartner projects that mobile apps will generate $15.1 billion in revenue this year, a 190% increase from the $5.2 billion in revenue it generated last year. Gartner also says that mobile app downloads will reach 17.7 billion in 2011, more than double the 8.2 billion mobile apps downloaded in 2010.
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What's more, Gartner doesn't see mobile apps as just a fad, as it predicts that users will have downloaded a total of 185 billion mobile applications by the end of 2014, meaning users will have downloaded an average of more than 30 billion applications per year between 2008 and 2014. However, Gartner does think that users will start to become more selective in the apps they download and that apps will have to deliver a better user experience than what they get over the Web if they want to have staying power.
"Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass," says Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "We do not think so... We strongly believe there is a sizable 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."
Android piques interest but iPhone still king, says IDC
So we know that apps are big. But what platforms will most apps be available on?