We live in a growing appconomy - a term I’ve admittedly coined myself, but one I hope gives a sense of how huge the app market is set to become. And, with over a decade’s experience of building quality apps behind us, we’re well placed to comment when we predict positive trends for the future.
Globally, mobile app revenues are projected to grow from US $70bn to US $189bn by 2020, fuelled by the rise in tablet and smartphone use.
Already, the app industry is well backed by VCs and hedge fund managers who foresee significant revenue being generated through associated sectors. The gaming industry, for instance, clocked revenues of around US $41bn in 2016 - a figure that is expected to grow by 80% by 2020, generating income of US $74.6bn. Our secondary research also indicates the likelihood of vertical growth among industries such as banking, retail, health, airlines, ridesharing services, automotive and governmental agencies.
Our expertise in understanding the appconomy - or app economy, for the traditionalists out there - also enables us to advise our clients on how to build better businesses through the use of apps. In this blog, informed by secondary research, we will consider, firstly, who leads in the app store world, and, secondly, what the mobile and tablet user base will look like in the future. Only by exploring both elements can we get a sense of how the industry will progress across the globe.
Who leads the app store?
There are currently 5.7m apps across the main app stores, Google Play leading the pack with 2.2m, closely followed by Apple with 2m. Around 73% of apps, in fact, are designed for the iOS and Android platforms, the rest running on the likes of Windows, Amazon and Blackberry.
Apple and Google have been particularly skilful at weaving hardware and software together to build aesthetically pleasing tech that’s also useful, helping people carry out what would otherwise be extremely complex tasks with ease. Look at Google Maps, for instance; available both for iOS and Android, the app allows users to make their way around even totally unfamiliar places.
Going forward, as mobile app developers we foresee the market for apps across both Google and Apple’s platforms growing exponentially and serving numerous industries as a growing number of people turn to it for shopping, communication, dining and other aspects of daily life.
Hardware platforms fuelling the growth of the app market
Another reason we foresee the rise of the appconomy is that growing numbers of people that are using mobiles and tablets. It’s predicted, in fact, that by 2019 63.4% of the world’s population will be using smartphones to browse the internet - up from the current 56%. Around 19%, meanwhile, will have access to tablets by 2020, reinforcing the need for emerging businesses to think seriously about investing in the app economy.
Globally, mature markets, such as the US, UK, Central Europe and China remain pivotal to the growth of the app market. This, however, will not avert growth in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, Mexico, Argentina, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa, which are likewise poised to grow strongly due to rising populations, rapid internet penetration and access to sophisticated hardware like smartphones and phablets.
Our capabilities across a number of sectors - from finance to health to Virtual Reality - mean we can gently guide our customers through a time of rapid change, providing them with insights on getting the most from the various app platforms. We always try to understand our clients’ needs fully through design sprints and long-term engagements. As Jay Clark, one of our designers, puts it: “We are open to offering our advice to startups and emerging enterprises that would wish to boost their incomes in the longer run.”
Mobile app development is set to become crucial to many industries and, with that in mind, our vision is focused on creating value, adaptability and usability across the board. Ultimately, we are hopeful that, by combining technical strength with research expertise, we will be able to steer our customers through an ever-growing appconomy.