IDC has been busy lately with its prediction for 2011, with one data point standing out from the rest as an indication to how massive the mobile application market already is, and how large it will continue to become.
According to its forecast, IDC says the number of downloaded apps is expected to increase from 10.9 billion worldwide in 2010 to more than 76.9 billion in 2014. In addition, worldwide mobile apps revenues will experience similar growth, surpassing $35 billion in 2014.
A primary driver to the massive growth is what IDC calls the “appification of broad categories of interactions and functions in both the physical and the digital worlds.” Apps can turn a smartphone into a physical trainer that keeps track of exercise levels and even your heartbeat, for example, or even help cook a meal by walking you through the meal prep and then tell you when it is fully cooked, monitor your driving and offer tips to increase gas mileage, turn your phone into a flashlight, connect you with friends through social networking, find your location through mapping, offer early forms of virtual reality, automatically upload and share pictures, scan physical goods through barcode readers, wirelessly transfer files by physically bumping two devices together, and provide a whole range of business support from fleet management to payroll.
“Mobile app developers will ‘appify’ just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds,” notes Scott Ellison, vice president, Mobile and Wireless research at IDC. “The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector.”
The importance of applications in today’s mobile ecosystem isn’t a huge secret, we all know how massive a market its become, but these numbers are still staggering. Reaching nearly 100 billion downloaded apps this year alone is quite a milestone, and its a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.