The app industry has gone from non-existence to multi-billion revenue in a few short years, and it will only continue to soar upwards according to a new report.
The report, from IHS Screen Digest research, says revenue from the four big app stores run by Apple Inc., Google Inc., Nokia Corp. and Research In Motion will increase 77.7 percent in 2011 to $3.8 billion from $2.1 billion in 2010.
With consumers continuing to show robust, unflagging interest in downloading games and other applications to devices like smart phones and tablets, collective revenues from the four stores will climb sharply this year, said Jack Kent, analyst, mobile media, for IHS.
Apple will continue to own the lion's share of this revenue, owning three-quarters share of the total market, according to the report. With more people buy apps on iPhones, iPods and iPads, app store revenue for Apple will come to $2.91 billion by the end of the year, 63.4 percent from $1.78 billion in 2010.
IHS doesn't see much of a drop-off for Apple in the near future. Even by 2014, when its competitors will have had time to mature and develop their versions of the app store, Apple will still hold 60 percent revenue share of the market IHS says. Apple will also lead its competitors with in-app purchases-or additional purchases made within a paid application, such as bonus game levels.
If any of the competitors have a shot at reaching Apple's top spot, it is Google, according to IHS. The Android market place, which serves numerous tablets and smartphones, will increase by 295.4 percent this year to $425.36 million.
This will make it the second-largest application store surpassing previous number two, Research In Motion. RIM's BlackBerry App World will have 69.2 percent growth in 2011. This is impressive in its own right, but not enough to match Apple and Google. Bringing up the rear is Nokia's Ovi Store, which considering Nokia's new deal with Windows Phone 7, probably has reached its peak with 1.1 billion downloads from Nokia's Symbian smartphone users.