There is no doubt that the market for mobile apps is on fire. ABI Research is predicting enormous growth in app downloads in 2010 followed by modest growth through 2013 and then the trend will move downward. See the figure below:
As the graphic shows, ABI Research believes Apple will continue to be the dominant player in the app arena. They predict Android will follow in second place with over 800 million app downloads in 2010.
When I look at the graphic and read their report, I question whether they have all of this right. I’d question just about anyone who tells me they can predict where technology will be in 2015. While iPhone and Android are almost certain to dominate for awhile, Palm may not exist much longer and ABI predicts substantial app downloads on Palm through 2015. Further, Blackberry OS app development is still in the dark ages and may never break out to the high numbers they are predicting. Furthermore, ABI predicts the following:
Revenues from mobile app sales, however, are expected to decline by 2012, as competition has led to downward pressure on application prices; and a greater proportion of “must-have” applications will begin to have free or advertising-supported substitutes. In addition, many handset makers such as Nokia, and Motorola with its Android handsets, have started to bundle applications that allow users to connect to popular social networks, instant messaging, and GPS services.
While that’s all reasonable, the report says nothing about a potential shift from an app-centric mobile world to a browser-based HTML5 or Flash handheld world. I suppose they’ve left room to re-forecast between now and 2015.
P.S. Fellas, “Series” was dropped from the name of Windows Phone 7 last week.
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