Mobile app revenue set to break $30 billion

Posted by Trent Nouveau

To-date revenues accumulated by the global mobile application market remains on track to break the $30 billion milestone by the end of 2012.

According to ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen, the cumulative revenue base includes the money made from pay-per-downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and in-app advertisements - nearly double the amount reached by end-2011.

"High consumer 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," he explained. "We’re no longer talking only about a short-term gold rush. Apps have become a major digital industry.”

As Markkanen notes, the catalyst behind the quest of turning apps into money has been Apple, which not only came up with a "compelling" mobile operating system (iOS), but also excels at well-executed distribution and billing mechanisms.

Nevertheless, says Markkanen, Google also deserves a lot of credit for rehabilitating its proposition as an app distributor over the past year.

"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 both clearly made monetization a key aspect of their platform strategies.

"If Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry 10 manage to win the users’ hearts and minds of the consumer, the threshold for developers to jump on the bandwagon won’t be high," he added.