Mobile application downloads worldwide will close in on the 6 billion mark in 2010, up from an estimated 2.4 billion a year ago, according to a new forecast issued by ABI Research. Citing the rapid adoption of smartphones as well as the proliferation of app stores as catalysts behind the download surge, ABI also notes the introduction of two new smartphone platforms, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and Samsung's bada, adding both will include proprietary app stores of their own. Although ABI anticipates Apple's iPhone will remain the leading app platform thanks in part to the App Store's wealth of niche and localized content, Android is gaining fast--the research firm expects Android app downloads will exceed 800 million in 2010.
Despite growing consumer demand for mobile software, ABI contends app revenues will decline by 2012, saying competition is resulting in downward pressure on prices. In addition, the firm expects to see free or ad-supported versions of many must-have apps, while at the same time, manufacturers like Nokia and Motorola are beginning to bundle applications enabling consumers to connect to social networks, IM and GPS services. "As competition heats up, app makers are both dropping prices and ‘going free' to stay on top of the download charts," said ABI vice president of forecasting Jake Saunders in a prepared statement.
For more on the ABI forecast:
- read this release
IDC anticipates Android shipments will near 70 million by 2013
Can Google solve Android fragmentation?
Android explodes into the consumer consciousness