Mobile App Downloads Hit Record £1.4bn Revenue: Canalys

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Apple and Google dominant but there’s a role for BlackBerry and Windows Phone too

Mobile app downloads increased by 11 percent to 13.4 billion during the first quarter  of 2013, while direct revenues from paid-for-apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions grew to $2.2 billion (£1.4bn), according to Canalys.

The research firm monitored downloads across the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry World across 50 countries and concluded that there was “healthy growth” in what is now a multi-billion pound growth market.

Apple-Google duopoly

Unsurprisingly, the App Store and Google Play were revealed to be the two biggest marketplaces, with the former accounting for 74 percent of revenues and the latter for 51 percent of all downloads, confirming the common belief that iOS users are more prepared to pay for content than their Android counterparts.

More than 40 billion mobile apps have been downloaded from the App Store since it was launched in 2007, while Google Play reached the 25 billion milestone last summer. However, unlike iOS, piracy is more of an issue on Android, while there are a number of application stores to choose from.

Canalys says that Microsoft and BlackBerry must ensure that key applications are available on their mobile platforms if they are going to compete in the smartphone arena.

“The strength of app ecosystems will increasingly help to determine winners and losers in the smart device industry,” said Tim Shepherd, Canalys Senior Analyst, who praised both companies for their attempts to court developers but said that they must market their offerings efficiently to consumers.

However, Shepherd added that the Apple-Google duopoly created certain challenges for app publishers, operators, investors and vendors that made a third operating system desirable. BlackBerry in particular has been proactive in this regard, offering incentives to developers to port their wares to BlackBerry 10.

This first appeared on TechWeekEurope UK. Read the whole story here.