The year 2011 started for Apple Inc. with a pleasant but not entirely unexpected milestone result – more than 10 billion mobile applications and games were downloaded from the App Store. The App Store model success exceeds even the boldest expectations of everybody and Apple in particular. As of January 27, 2010, the application count in the app store reached 140,000 with 3 billion downloads. It took apple only one year to collect 350,000 applications in its store and to reach the threshold of 10 billion downloads.
It would be interesting to learn what is going on in other application stores in the meantime. A good insight into this matter is in the recent study by Distimo, an analytical company of application stores. Although their study mostly focuses on the American market, it reflects some general tendencies of the world market of mobile applications. According to the study, the Android Market is the fastest growing app store. The number of applications accepted to the market grew from January 2010 to December 2010 by 544 percent. Android is followed by RIM’s Blackberry App World with a growth of 268 percent. The third place is occupied by Nokia’s Ovi Store with a yearly growth of 258 percent. As far as the application numbers growth is concerned, Apple’s App Store occupies the last place with 111 percent. Despite slow growth, for the time being, Apple App Store offers the largest amount of applications – more than 300 thousand (as of the end of December 2010). The closest pursuer in this competition is Android Market with around 130 thousand apps. Ovi Store and Blackberry App World are well behind the two leaders with 25,000 and 18,000 applications respectably.
All application stores are developing very fast. This tendency will only intensify in the future. This is also confirmed by Gartner’s, IT market research and consulting company, forecasts for years 2010 – 2011. According to Gartner, the App Stores will continue to be the most important distribution channels for mobile applications. The app stores will continue to play important role in business strategies.