Friday, August 14, 2009

5 Million Mobile Apps by 2014

Apple iPhone app store has over 1.5 billion downloads. Android is on fire and gaining on new apps (2,300 as of March). All the big handset players, Motorola, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, Apple, RIM are trying to make it easier for developers to get apps to their handsets. Operating systems like Symbian and Microsoft Mobile are pushing ahead to make themselves better and easier. External data suppliers like NAVTEQ are doing very well and have their own developer communities.

A new report from Frost and Sullivan predicts the number of downloads of apps is 6.67 Billion downloads by 2014 ( I think this is conservative).

But even at this early stage of mobile apps, discoverability is a big problem. This means that it's not only the number of downloads that's interesting, but it's also the number of apps.

I saw online an interesting site recently that could make things even more interesting for mobile apps.

iLike will generate apps for bands. These iphone apps will allow bands to show their blog, band pictures and allow fans to download their music via iTunes.

Think about it… Your own personalized app available from the app store.


Apple has around 65,000 apps right now (I estimate 100,000 by the end of the year).

It is hard right now to think about not just about the number of downloads but the number of individual apps that will be available.

With services like iLike, I believe that their will be many millions of individualized apps available within the next few years.

I am going to stick my neck out here.

I believe there will be approximately 5 million individual mobile apps by 2014.

Apps will follow the rule of the Long Tail

The apps that will win will have big marketing budgets behind them and they will be excellent apps in regards to UI and usability. There will many small apps out there with niches. Those apps will rely on word-of-mouth, and the best way for that is to make an excellent mobile app.

How do you make an excellent mobile app? You need to ask people … lots of people what they think. You need to listen to people and get their feedback.

And you need to find this out before you launch the app. If you have a bad app, people will rank your app very poorly and all the work you put in will be lost. People will not download a badly ranked app. Best to find out at the alpha (pre porting stage) and Beta (post porting stage) before you launch.

I look forward to my own personal app. And I bet you do too.


P.S. BTW, we' at booth 106 at the CTIA San Diego show in October in the Developer's Pavillion ... come by and see us!


israellebanon said...

Jumping on a part of your post: The discoverability of apps. I agree this is a major issue Apple is not really solving. Will become worse before it gets better specially when mobile apps will take over.

This is why we created a new service that allow user to instantly share their apps with anyone.

It adds context to apps through a new layer not present in the app store: the social layer.

Let us know if you think this direction is of interest.


Unknown said...

jay: im willing to join as mob4hire tester..
Is the system already available in the philippines?
just replied me back through my email at

Hope for a favorable response regarding this matter.

Thank You and Good Day!