The mobile applications market is growing. According to a joint survey by DM2PRO and Quattro Wireless, 65% of publishers and marketers in North America plan to invest in mobile apps in 2010. “There are now numerous mobile apps that fill utilitarian needs, serving up informative tips and educational bits, plenty that offer pure entertainment and others that hover in between,”says eMarketer's Toby Elkin.“The right kinds of mobile apps tethered to social media can move consumer products marketers closer to their goals.”
The Yankee Group predicts that the US app market will pull in $1.6 billion worth of revenues this year, and that by 2014, revenues will be six times as high at $11 billion. Gartner expects over 4.5 billion applications will be downloaded worldwide this year, garnering $6.8 billion in revenues. By 2013, the number of mobile applications downloaded is expected to grow to nearly 22 billion, bringing in $29.5 billion in revenues. Gartner also predicts that 8 out of 10 applications downloaded will be free, and by 2013, nearly 9 out of every 10 applications will be free.
“Growth in smartphone sales will not necessarily mean that consumers will spend more money, but it will widen the addressable market for an offering that will be advertising-funded,” Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.
The mobile apps trend is expected to hit emerging markets as well. By 2014, approximately 2.6 billion people in Brazil, Russia, India, and China will have access to the mobile Internet. In 2010 alone, there will be more mobile Internet users in China than the entire population of the United States.
With such a staggering concentration of mobile phone subscribers accessing the Internet and downloading apps, the possibilities are endless. Smart brands, particularly global ones, should take advantage of the platform to provide value, engage their audience, and tie mobile into their overall social media and marketing strategy.