ABI Research Publishes Five-Year Mobile App Forecast, Predicts Apple To Reign Supreme

ABI Research today published a new five-year forecast for the mobile apps space, predicting a continued surge in the number of apps available, with Apple’s App Store predicted to remain the “healthiest app economy in terms of downloads” for the foreseeable future.

ABI expects 2010 to be the biggest year for mobile application downloads going forward, with just under 6 billion forecast to be downloaded, up from an estimated 2.4 billion in 2009.  Revenues from mobile app sales, however, are expected to decline by 2012, as competition has led to downward pressure on application prices; and a greater proportion of “must-have” applications will begin to have free or advertising-supported substitutes.

The prediction I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the fact that the Apple App Store will reign supreme going forward.  It will undoubtedly remain a leading marketplace in terms of quality, but other metrics will have a hard time competing with Android and its growth surges.

“The iPhone will continue to be the leading app platform, with a database of over 125,000 applications offering niche and localized content,” says wireless research associate Bhavya Khanna. “Other platforms are still playing catch-up, with Android being the fastest gainer among them.  ABI Research expects that with over 30,000 applications now available, over 800 million Android applications will be downloaded in 2010.”