According to analyst group Gartner, this year consumers will download 4.5 billion mobile phone applications worldwide from places such as the iTunes apps store. And though 82% will be free, total sales will still reach $6.2 billion (£3.8 billion), increasing to $29.4 billion (£18 billion) by 2013. By 2013 ad-sponsored apps are additionally estimated to account for 25% of mobile application revenue.
Gartner says that though high end users are happy to shell out cash for apps now, when the market widens, it will be these advertising funded applications that start generating cash when the mass of consumers start downloading free ones on their iPhones. According to Gartner’s Stephanie Baghdassarian, “growth in smartphone sales will not necessarily mean that consumers will spend more money, but it will widen the addressable market for an offering that will be advertising funded.”
Though Apple’s iPhone is currently making the most noise, for Gartner’s predictions to come true, smartphones as a whole will obviously need to increase in popularity and a survey in the US by ChangeWave Research (via Marketing Charts), shows an uptake in phones using Google’s Android system.
While in September 2009, Android tied Palm as the least preferred operating system, by December US respondents who said they had an Android phone shot up by 200% from 1 to 4%.
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