The app market money is growing and growing…. when will the good times end…

According to some the App bubble aint gonna burst just yet as cumulative Mobile App Revenues predicted to Exceed $30 Billion by End-2012

We live in an interesting world. Mobile is taking over. Even Mcommerce looks like it might do something – doubling in size every year – and now predicting to be around 20% of sales over Christmas. But what about apps? We all have them, we love some of them, but surely the app market is not sustainable. It has all the hallmarks of a bubble… But…

Some are predicting the growth will go on and perhaps on and on.

As according to new Market Data from ABI Research – ​To-date revenues accumulated by the global mobile application market will pass the $30 billion milestone by the end of this year!

The cumulative revenue base includes the money made from pay-per-downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and in-app advertisements, and it is nearly double the amount that had been reached by end-2011. Which scarily marries up to not only our own findings with clients data from web traffic but also the mcommerce numbers so far.

Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen says, “Consumers’ high interest in apps has for long time been obvious from download volumes, but it’s 2012 that will go down in history as the year when the economic side of the business finally took off. We’re no longer talking only about a short-term gold rush. Apps have become a major digital industry.”

The catalyst behind the quest of turning apps into money has been Apple, which not only came up with a compelling OS, but also with well-executed distribution and billing mechanisms. As the firm that has stood out most in 2012 Markkanen would however name Google, adding, “Google deserves a lot of credit for rehabilitating its proposition as an app distributor in the past year or so. If the old Android Market was a garage sale of the industry then the new Google Play has begun resembling a respectable department store. We estimate the Android developers’ share of the annual app revenues to set around one-third.”

Meanwhile, the main candidates for the third ecosystem, Microsoft and RIM, have clearly made the monetization aspect a key piece in their platform strategies. This means that if Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry 10 – or even both – manage to win the users’ hearts and minds of the consumer, the threshold for developers to jump on the bandwagon won’t be high.

Especially if / when Blackberry sweetens the deal. Which is kinda proven by a mobile report showing that more than 50 mobile operators worldwide now enable subscribers to charge BlackBerry App World purchases directly to their monthly wireless bill, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced.

In addition to support for premium applications and digital goods, BlackBerry App World is integrated with the BlackBerry Payment Service, which enables developers and content providers to offer in-app purchases (e.g., additional game levels), as well as one-off and recurring, subscription-based transactions. RIM noted that an average of 75 percent of BlackBerry App World gross sales are transacted through the carrier when operator billing options are available to customers. Average carrier revenues derived from apps increased between 100 percent and 300 percent after launch, the device maker added.

RIM and mobile payment processing partner Bango first introduced BlackBerry App World carrier billing in mid-2010 in conjunction with AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T). The storefront is now available in 170 markets worldwide and offers more than 100,000 BlackBerry smartphone apps.

RIM will launch its overhauled BlackBerry 10 platform in early 2013 and began accepting applications optimized for the OS last month. RIM is looking to BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry App World growth to reignite developer passion for its platform: According to a recent survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC, just 9 percent of respondents said they are very interested in writing BlackBerry apps, an all-time low. Forty percent of developers expressed strong interest in BlackBerry as recently as the first quarter of 2011, underlining the operating system’s fall from grace. In comparison, 85 percent of respondents are very interested in building apps for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, and 83 percent express comparable enthusiasm for creating apps optimized for the iPad tablet.

So can Blackberry get back into the market place and into developers hearts? It could if plays the long game – and specialises into B2B apps – helping SME’s target the big boys. By helping the whole ecosystem the company might just save itself… 🙂


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