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Mobile 'apps' to be $58 billion market: study

by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Jan 31, 2011
Mobile applications downloaded from online stores will be a $58 billion worldwide business by 2014, as tablet computers such as Apple's iPad stoke the surging market, a new study said Monday.

The figure marks a huge increase on the $5.2 billion spent on mobile applications in 2010, technology consultancy Gartner said, predicting there will be 17.7 billion application downloads this year, more than double the 8.2 billion in 2010.

By the end of 2014, Gartner forecasted that over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded since 2008.

Gartner added that while the average number of downloads to mobile phones will remain stable, "it must be assumed that media tablets will drive more downloads from consumers, boosting the overall average downloads per device."

Mobile application revenue was generated both by fees paid for the downloads and developers' advertising revenue, it said.

The soaring growth in the market was partly driven by new alternatives to Apple's well-known App Store, with Nokia and Blackberry maker Research in Motion among those unveiling competing offerings.

Free downloads are forecast to account for 81 percent of total mobile application store downloads in 2011, Gartner said, adding that paid for applications will rise as people "become more trusting of billing mechanisms."

earlier related report
Google dethrones Nokia with top smartphone platform: study
Helsinki (AFP) Jan 31, 2011 - Google's smartphone operating system Android has passed Nokia's Symbian and become the global smartphone market leader, market research company Canalys said Monday.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, 32.9 million phones running Android were shipped compared to 31 million handsets running Symbian, according to Canalys.

Based on shipment figures, Google's percentage of the smartphone market share leapt from 8.7 percent in 2009 to 32.5 percent, while Nokia's shrank from 44 percent to 30.6 percent.

"But Nokia did retain its position as the leading global smartphone vendor, with a share of 28 percent," the Canalys report added.

Nokia's smartphone market share has been undermined over the past two years by the stellar rise of Apple's iPhone, RIM's Blackberry and phones running Android such as those produced by Samsung and HTC.

According to Canalys, Apple's market share remained around the same, at 16 percent at the end of 2010, while RIM came in fourth place with 14.4 percent and Microsoft brought up the rear with 3.1 percent.

The smartphone market itself grew by nearly 89 percent in 2010, with 101.2 million handsets sold, said Canalys.

"2010 has been a fantastic year for the smart phone market... but vendors cannot afford to be complacent," said Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones.

"2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value," he added, referring to near field communication payment systems.

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Macworld shines without superstar Apple
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 28, 2011
From star-gazing iPad applications to crystal-encrusted iPhone cases, a universe of products spun off of Apple gadgets flourished at Macworld Expo despite the absence of the sun around which they revolve. Attendance was on track to hit 25,000 by the time the annual gathering of Apple faithful ends on Saturday. The crowd was down from the 40,000 to 50,000 people seen in years when Apple t ... read more

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