Global Smartphone App Market Users Forecast

The Apple App Store has come a long way since opening up for iPhone users in 2008. Since then, other marketplaces like Android’s have also been fast playing catch up and it comes as no doubt that smartphone app marketplace is one of the hottest areas in the coming years. A study by Research2Guidance notes that this “industry” can reach $15 billlion by 2013. Here is the projection of the installed user base provided by the study

2009 : 100 million
2010 : 310 million
2011 : 550 million
2012 : 775 million
2013 : 970 million

Number Of Smartphone Users Downloading Paid-App

AdMob’s recent study looks into the app purchasing habits of smartphone users. Apparently, around 1 paid app is downloaded per month on an average by smartphone users. So, how many smartphone users actually make the purchase. Here are the average percentage of users who download at least one paid app per month

iPhone : 50%
iPod touch : 35%
Android : 21%
webOS : 24%

Average Number Of App Downloads Per Month

How many apps does an average smartphone user download per month? A study from AdMob reveals that just over 1 app is actually purchased while half a dozen apps are downloaded for free. It is not clear if the study classified in-app purchasing as under free or paid category since there is a significant population who make in-app purchases.

Here are the number of free and paid apps downloaded on an average from these different platforms

Free app downloads
iPhone : 7
iPod touch : 10.5
Android : 7.6
webOS : 5.1

Paid app downloads
iPhone : 1.8
iPod touch : 1.6
Android : 1.1
webOS : 0.6

Cloud Based Mobile Applications Market

Cloud based mobile applications is a fledgling industry already set to take off – There are rumors of Apple introducing a cloud based iTunes and Google following suit with a competitor product. However, the major chunk of growth; nearly 75%, is expected to come from Enterprise customers.

A recent report from Juniper estimated the total value of the market.
2009 : $400 million
2014 : $9.5 billion

This is approximately a growth of 88%.

Mobile Apps Usage Frequency

How frequently do iPhone and Android users make use of the various apps they have installed? A recent study by Flurry provides the answers classified by app category. All percentages are approximations

Entertainment : 3 times (per month)
Games : 5 times
Lifestyle : 3 times
News : 8 times
Social Networking : 18.5

Entertainment : 7.5 times (per month)
Games : 5.5 times
Lifestyle : 4 times
News : 10.5 times
Social Networking : 20.5 times

Most Popular Office Package Among German Users

Webmaster Pro Web analytics studied the most preferred Office package among more than one million internet users in Germany. Without doubt, Microsoft Office has been the most popular software. However, one striking fact from the study is that close to 17% of the users did not have any Office package installed.

Here is the market share of the various Office packages as gauged by the study

Microsoft Office : 72%
OpenOffice : 21.5% (includes StarOffice, IBM Lotus Symphony,etc.)
WordPerfect Office : 2.7%
Apple iWork : 1.4%
SoftMaker Office : 0.3%
KOffice : 0.03%

Interesting to see no mention of Google Docs in the list. Can you see why?

Most Popular Free Mobile Applications For Android

The Apple App Store might be the most popular mobile application marketplace currently. However, Android is expected to take the reigns over from Apple in a few years time. Here are the most popular free mobile apps on the Android Marketplace

1. T-Mobile My Account
2. Pandora Radio
3. The Weather Channel
4. Facebook for Android
5. MySpace Mobile
6. Backgrounds (Stylem Media)
7. US Yellow Pages Search (Yellowbook)
8. DailyHoroscope (Comitic)
9. ShopSavvy (Big in Japan, Inc.)
10. Barcode Scanner (ZXing team)

Mobile Application Stores : Downloads and Revenue

The iPhone has no doubt revolutionized the mobile phone industry and the app economy, spurred by the addition of thousands of new mobile apps everyday to the various app stores, has been booming. So, how big is it expected to grow? Gartner recently published their predictions for the near term. Here is the value of the mobile application market corresponding to the number of apps that is estimated to be downloaded

2009 : $4.23 billion (2.5 billion downloads)
2010 : $6.77 billion (4.5 billion downloads)
2013 : $29.47 billion (21.6 billion downloads)

Most Preferred Application (App) Platform For Marketers

Facebook and iPhone are among the most obvious platforms that marketers could use to promote their third party apps among their target user base. A study by Quattro Wireless (now acquired by Apple) surveyed marketers on their most preferred platform. Here are the results ranked by percent of respondents

1. Facebook : 78.9%
2. iPhone : 62.1%
3. Own branded site/community : 35.8%
4. MySpace : 25.3%
5. Android : 9.5%
6. RIM : 9.5%
7. Palm : 6.3%
Others : 15.8%