Feature Phone Apps Market Expected to Double to $1 Billion

Based on the latest estimates put forward by Ovum, the mobile apps market for feature phones is on pace to double by 2016, reaching revenues of $1 billion in the process.

According to Ovum, the feature phone apps market has been spurred on by the success of apps in the smartphone sector.

In the report published Tuesday, the independent telecoms analyst claims that “while the feature phone apps market has not taken off in the same way as its smartphone counterpart, it is beginning to take strides forward.”

It states that improvements which have made both developing and publishing feature phone apps easier, the larger size of the market and reduced competition mean that the sector has the potential to be more lucrative for some developers.

“While feature phone users vastly outnumber smartphone users, the apps market hasn’t taken off in the same way,” says Nick Dillon, Ovum analyst and author of the report. “This is largely because it has lacked the distribution channels to enable widespread adoption.”

“However, inspired by the success of apps in the smartphone market, the options have improved drastically, with many larger handset manufacturers, operators and third parties now offering improved distribution programmes for feature phones,” Dillon adds.

Based on Ovum’s projections, the number of feature phones worldwide will reach 2.3 billion in 2016, when they will continue to dominate the market, with a 63 percent share, compared to 37 percent for smartphones.