How much money have mobile apps made? By the end of the year the cumulative revenues of the global mobile app market will have exceeded $30 billion, says analyst ABI Research. This figure includes money from pay-per-download apps, in-app purchases, subscriptions and in-app advertisements — the whole app kit-and-caboodle if you will.
The figure, which comes from ABI Research’s Mobile Application Markets Research Service, is nearly double the amount of money apps had generated by the end of 2011, according to the analyst.
“Consumers’ high interest in apps has for a long time been obvious from download volumes, but it’s 2012 that will go down in history as the year when the economic side of the business finally took off,” said senior analyst Aapo Markkanen in a statement. “We’re no longer talking only about a short-term gold rush. Apps have become a major digital industry.”
While ABI gives a nod to Apple’s role in catalysing this global app money-making machine, the analyst says the firm that has “stood out the most in 2012” is Google — noting how the rather flea-market-esque Android Market has been overhauled and transformed into the much more polished Google Play.
“Google deserves a lot of credit for rehabilitating its proposition as an app distributor in the past year or so. If the old Android Market was a garage sale of the industry then the new Google Play has begun resembling a respectable department store. We estimate the Android developers’ share of the annual app revenues to set around one-third,” said Markkanen.
Beyond the two dominant platforms, Android and iOS, ABI notes that the main candidates for the third ecosystem — Microsoft with its Windows Phone OS and RIM with BB10 — have also “clearly made the monetization aspect a key piece in their platform strategies,” providing more opportunities for yet more developers to jump on the app-based, money-making bandwagon in future.