If there was any lingering doubt that apps have become a major international industry, look to this study from Berg Insight, which postulates that 98 billion mobile apps will be downloaded by the year 2015. The study says that app downloads — and therefore, app earnings — will grow by 56% every year, culminating in an estimated $11.8 billion in 2015. Technology has traditionally been a safe investment and numbers like these only reinforce how important apps are going to be in the coming years.
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to to browse the internet instead of their computers. Downloadable games from the app stores are giving console games a run for their money (and have contributed more than anything to the Nintendo 3DS’ soft launch). Major websites and corporations have noticed and have made their content accessible through easily navigable mobile sites and convenient apps. In return, we use these apps and mobile sites because it’s so incredibly convenient. This is probably the one area in this day and age where the average person and major companies see eye-to-eye. It’s also a field made for entrepreneurs, a perfect way for a scrappy upstart to explode onto the scene. Nothing catches the public eye like a useful app.
It will be at least another decade or so before a large majority of Americans own a smartphone or tablet, but that time is coming. The appeal of smartphones is too great and the prices are slowly becoming more appealing and realistic for the average consumer. How many Kindle Fires will be under Christmas trees come this December? A lot. For millions of people, this will be their introduction to the world of apps. As of right now, we’re nowhere close to 98 billion downloads, but if a couple million people receive an app-friendly device each year and each new user downloads a couple dozen apps (and probably more)…well, it all adds up.
The beauty of apps is that they’re not just tools for technology fans. They’re accessible. They pass the Mother Test. In other words, my mother owns a smartphone and can operate it with a bare minimum of questioning phone calls. Are apps the epitome of accessible technology? Perhaps…and they’re here to stay!