As the number of smartphone users are anticipated to quadruple by 2013, says the Yankee Group, forecasting an explosion in mobile app downloads that could generate up to €2.8 billion in annual sales.
The number of US smartphone will grow to 160 million by 2013, and they are expected to download 7 billion apps, the report forecast. Currently the US has about 40 million smartphone users.
Yankee Group director Carl Howe said that while apps have been around for years, the next wave in growth will be punctuated by the widespread use of high-end handsets and the consumer’s willingness to pay a little extra for a wanted app.
“Every mobile software developer could be the next Bill Gates for smartphones, but only if they bet on the platforms with the right reach and fit for their application,” he advised.
The Yankee Group report recommends that consumer app developers should focus on RIM's Blackberry, which has yet to exploit consumer-centric apps. Likewise, enterprise app firms should work on the consumer-heavy iPhone and Android platforms.
Yankee forecast that one in four apps will be “paid” by 2013. In terns of pricing, the average app price will be €1.60 ($2.37), growing the current €231 million app market more than tenfold in five years.
The Yankee Group reports included research and survey responses from over 8,700 consumers and publicly available statistics form sites like the iTunes App Store, to derive forecast results.