Apple still reigns in app market race

Apple still reigns in app market race

According to a new report from IHS iSuppli, Apple will dominate the mobile app marketplace with a whopping 76 iphone_0percent of market share in 2011—and is expected to retain 60 percent of that share by 2014.

The study puts combined revenues of all the branded mobile app marketplaces—that is, excepting third party app stores and including those run by Apple, Google, Nokia and Research in Motion—will grow 77.7 percent in 2011 to $3.8 billion, with Apple projected to take up the lion’s share. Combined, the four marketplaces hit $830.6 million in 2009 and $206 million in 2008.

So what’s next? iSuppli predicts total download revenue of $5.6 billion in 2012, $6.9 billion in 2013 and $8.3 billion in 2014. Significantly, Microsoft isn’t counted yet in the firm’s numbers because it doesn’t have enough downloads to register.

The biggest news from the report is that Apple is expected to maintain a 60 percent market share by 2014, and continue to lead in revenue gained from in-app purchases. Google’s Android platform is second in the forecast numbers, overtaking RIM as of this year. The total number of downloaded applications in 2011 is expected to reach 18.1 billion by year-end and top some 33 billion by 2014, the firm predicts.

What does it all mean for developers—should that forecasted Apple dominance deter cross-platform development efforts? Probably not, since there is a fair and ever-growing number of Android supporters (and BlackBerry diehards, for that matter). But developers grappling with cost constraints and forced to choose one platform over another should certainly consider these numbers carefully before proceeding.

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