Mobile Apps, Payments Flourish: 98 Billion Downloads by 2015

As mobile apps and services start to dominate our gadgets, a recent study from Berg Insight indicates that mobile app downloads will reach 98 billion by the year 2015 which will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.6% between 2010 and 2015.  App store revenue will also grow, expected to reach $11.8 billion.

At present, Apple is the leader in direct monetization of mobile applications, and will continue to lead the pack until 2015 with Android taking the #2 spot, and Windows Phone will be in third place.  However, though there is a massive increase in app downloads, most of the apps are free.  This means developers should focus on in-app advertising and in-app purchasing as monetization strategies.

According to Senior Analyst Johan Svanberg, HTML5 is not yet a relevant alternative to native apps, but will be eventually.  For the next five years, mobile apps will still be the ones dominating.  But developers should build for the web to maximize their reach.

And as app downloads flourish, mobile payment apps will also benefit from this, as predicted by the Juniper Research forecast.  According to the report, global mobile payments for physical goods will surpass $170 billion by 2015 as more people rapidly adopt touch-based smartphones.  Predicted shipments of these devices will surpass 700 million by 2016.

“Touchscreen displays not only provide a superior user experience for many activities, but free-up space on the device for a larger display: that extra 2 to 3 inches can make a world of difference in the range of activities that can be performed more comfortably on the Smartphone,” author Daniel Ashdown stated.

And according to Millennial Media’s latest S.M.A.R.T. report, more companies are focusing on creating mobile ads that are location and audience specific as well as season specific to keep things relevant and interesting for consumers.

It’s a booming market we’re experiencing, flourishing around a mobile economy that’s beginning to mature around app stores and monetization strategies through advertising, virtual goods and beyond.  It’s interesting to see the digital play for app monetization, but it’s also important to note the ways in which this trend has catalyzed the consumerization of IT and services.