Apps take over
Strategy Analytics reports that Apple looks to holding the number one position versus Google while Amazon hopes to maintain its lead over Barnes and Noble in the e- reader space. Also, Microsoft looks to unseat Research in Motion as the third ecosystem of choice.
According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president at Internet Software and Services, “When we launched the App Store less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile apps would become the phenomenon they have, or that developers would create such an incredible selection of apps for IOS users.”
The App Store offers more than 550,000 apps to iphone, ipad and ipod touch users in 123 countries around the world, with more than 170,000 native ipad apps available. App Store customers can choose from an incredible range of apps in 21 categories, including Newsstand, games, business, news, sports, health and fitness and travel. The App Store has paid out more than four billion dollars to developers.
But with a growing number of competitors and devices moving into emerging markets, the average selling price of paid apps downloads is declining across every major platform.
In this background, Apple App Store and Android market lost two percent available app share to newcomers in the first quarter of 2012. Says Josh Martin, Director, Apps Research for Strategy Analytics, “While developers know that they must support IOS and Android, they are beginning to make decisions about which other platforms deserve their support. Windows Phone and Blackberry continue to battle for third position. Windows is beginning to edge out Blackberry in new apps added and total library size. With Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10 looming, the war is just beginning.”
Analysts also noted that the Android and IOS markets varied in their audience and scope of applications. Top apps on the IOS store were more likely to be games, while Android apps tended to be geared more toward business than consumer users. While both marketplaces have enjoyed success, each offering more than 10 billion downloads; the App Store and Android Market have encountered their respective challenges. Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple and Android may take advantage of their positions to retain developer interest, maintain a steady flow of high quality apps and keep consumers wedded to their ecosystems.
It is said the quality of apps at the itunes App Store is far better compared to the Android Market. This is perhaps because the itunes App store is geared more to selling and the need for developing high quality apps. Quality has a price and this holds true for both markets.
As far as the developers are concerned, there is a greater chance for developers getting their apps to see the light of day on the Android Market as they face difficulty in getting Apple’s approval. Google’s Android may be leading the phone market, but even with so many devices available, developers still lean more towards the IOS platform for showing off their skills. Developers do that because the Android platform is very fragmented and they don’t make enough money selling apps on Android.
Overall, the apps surge can be gauged by the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show ( CES) held in January, as manufacturers were keen to cash in on the more than 41 billion phone and tablet downloads in 2012.