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Direct revenue from mobile 'app stores' expected to top $14B in 2012

post #1 of 16
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Software sales from Apple's mobile App Store as well as competing options like the Android Market are expected to continue their huge growth in the coming years, reaching $14.1 billion in direct revenue in 2012 and nearly $40 billion by 2015.

Canalys on Wednesday offered its latest analysis, projecting that sales from digital download destinations for mobile devices will grow 92 percent from an expected $7.3 billion in 2011. The firm sees mobile application stores experiencing a four-year compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2015 of just under 50 percent.

Canalys believes that digital stores with too many applications can be a "problem" for users, providing them with "overwhelming choice." The firm has suggested that mobile network operators, or MNOs, create their own application stores to compete with existing options by providing an improved customer experience.

"The leading stores already have hundreds of thousands of apps, so it's hard for operators to compete with those numbers," Canalys Analyst Tim Shepherd said. "On the other hand, too much choice brings serious problems in terms of application discovery for both developers and users, which operators can turn to their advantage."

Canalys said a customer searching for a weather application in the Android Market will find numerous possibilities, and many of those options may not have user ratings or reviews. Network operators could improve the experience by offering a "narrower, yet fully vetted, choice of apps" that could be tailored for users based on subscriber data.

"As more content and services are delivered over their networks, many MNOs are aspiring to move up the value chain," Shepherd said. "When it comes to detailed subscriber data, operators certainly have the competitive advantage.

"While they must clearly be careful to respect their customers' privacy, the data they hold leaves them well positioned to propose targeted marketing services, such as promotions and recommendations, as well as richer editorial guidance, better localization, improved security and simpler billing processes."



By creating their own application store, a carrier might be able to boost customer loyalty by building a consumer experience that users prefer. This could also lure new users, who would only be able to get that experience from one carrier.

"Some operators are concerned that having their own branded app stores will appear as a throwback to the 'walled gardens' of the past," Shepherd said. "While consumers would probably object to operators installing their app stores in place of vendor ones, there is no reason for operators not to pre-install their app stores alongside vendor stores to compete on user experience."

Of course the largest mobile application store is Apple's own App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. At the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS software, revealed there are more than 425,000 applications available in the App Store.

Forstall also revealed there have been more than 14 billion applications downloaded since the App Store launched in 2008. Apple has paid more than $2.5 billion to developers so far.
post #2 of 16
During the interim, the number of apps probably climbed to 450,000.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 16
Nope. Canalys is flat wrong.

It will only be $10.7B and $32.33B in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
post #4 of 16
"mobile network operators, or MNOs, create their own application stores to compete with existing options by providing an improved customer experience

I am not on board with the idea of carriers helping me out by restricting the problem of having too many great apps!
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

"mobile network operators, or MNOs, create their own application stores to compete with existing options by providing an improved customer experience

I am not on board with the idea of carriers helping me out by restricting the problem of having too many great apps!

Yeah, the idea of AT&T or Verizon providing a better customer experience than Apple is kind of amusing too. There's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm guessing that if anyone figures out how to make it better it's not going to be one of them (and will probably be Apple).
post #6 of 16
Why doesn't Apple sort Apps into SUB-categories within the main categories? This would make it much easier to find Apps. For example "Utilities > Flashlights" etc.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Why doesn't Apple sort Apps into SUB-categories within the main categories? This would make it much easier to find Apps. For example "Utilities > Flashlights" etc.

Go and try to sub-categorize 100 random apps, then see if your friends agree with your choices of sub-category - then you'll see why.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

By creating their own application store, a carrier might be able to boost customer loyalty by building a consumer experience that users prefer. This could also lure new users, who would only be able to get that experience from one carrier.

Because tactics that worked so badly pre-iPhone are bound to work well post iPhone! Carriers are utilities now, I don't want them offering me Apps based on my subscriber info any more than I want my water company phoning me up and telling me that based on my sewage I should eat more fibre.

The funny thing is that I'm sure some carriers will actually buy the snake oil that this analyst is selling.
post #9 of 16
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Anyone else find it amusing that Apple Insider was unable to avoid using "app store" in the generic sense?

So much for the trademark dispute...


I use google as a generic pretty much every day, it doesn't automatically invalidate Google's mark.
post #11 of 16
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post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Go and try to sub-categorize 100 random apps, then see if your friends agree with your choices of sub-category - then you'll see why.

Apple can simply offer up a bunch of choices (including 'other') and the developer would choose where to slot his/her app.

Moreover, any semi-decent cataloger could come up with sensible categories for something like this in a day.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Why doesn't Apple sort Apps into SUB-categories within the main categories? This would make it much easier to find Apps. For example "Utilities > Flashlights" etc.

I agree. The current categories are way too broad, and many apps simply get lost.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Why doesn't Apple sort Apps into SUB-categories within the main categories? This would make it much easier to find Apps. For example "Utilities > Flashlights" etc.

In addition to the filters they all already provide, I'd like to see the ability to search by tags. The tags would be generated automatically, by developers and possibly by end users.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I use google as a generic pretty much every day, it doesn't automatically invalidate Google's mark.


Do you refer to other companies as "googles?"
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

Do you refer to other companies as "googles?"

If I were to search for something on Bing, which seems implausible, I would still refer to that as googling- it can't be Binging, and searching on bing is far too cumbersome.

So I google on google, I would google on bing if paid cash money to do that to myself, heck I google my dead-tree book shelves when I'm trying to find a quote
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