A new report published by ABI Research suggests mobile app downloads from app stores will continue to rise until a peak in 2013, where the Mobile Web will take over as the primary source of mobile interaction.
According to ABI Research data, consumers downloaded some 2.4 billion applications from app stores last year, and the download rate will accelerate over the next few years until 2013 when smartphone downloads are expected to peak at just below seven billion. At that point, the Mobile Web is predicted to take over.
According to senior analyst Mark Beccue, “App stores aren’t going away: following the 2013 peak in demand, the number of downloads in 2015 will have decreased only seven or eight percent. But as our use of the mobile Internet evolves, demand will increasingly shift elsewhere.”
The mobile web is getting more and more sophisticated, says Beccue, so that more subscribers will use the functionality on mobile websites themselves rather than dedicated apps. “We see two emerging trends: first, many applications (increasingly built on web standards) will migrate from app stores to regular websites, and for some sites you won’t need an app at all. In addition, more and more popular applications will be preloaded on mobile devices. Social networking apps in particular will be pre-loaded on new products.”
While I don’t see mobile apps going by the wayside any time soon, I do agree with the notion that the mobile Web will develop to a point that rivals or even goes above and beyond what mobile apps can accomplish.