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For the App Economy, the Sky is the Limit

Updated on June 21, 2016
The App Economy
The App Economy

The App Economy

The app economy, consisting of everybody who makes money and has a job thanks to mobile apps, is estimated to double in size to US$101 billion by 2020, according to market researcher App Annie, as reported by an article on App publishers come from every industry, be it banking, retail, airlines, ridesharing companies, government agencies or gaming companies. An interesting fact to note is that games generated 85% of the app market revenue in 2015, a figure of US$34.8 billion globally. That figure is expected to nearly double to US$74.6 billion in 2020. Apps are also the way to go for many businesses seeking to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Apps are being used for functions such as supply chain management, logistics, purchasing, maintenance, service or sales support. Many small businesses use mobile apps to harness the power of cloud computing; they can share and store their work online, rather than having to spend on expensive storage solutions. Mobile apps are the future, for consumers and businesses alike.

Time Spent on Mobile Apps
Time Spent on Mobile Apps
Growing Popularity of Apps
Growing Popularity of Apps

Facts and Figures about the Smartphone App Industry for Customers

According to an article on, there will be 10 billion mobile phones in use globally, or 1.4 mobile phones per person, by the end of 2016. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, one-half of all adults who own cell phones in the US have apps on their phones. As of end 2013, 51% of smartphone users reported using a handful of apps at least once a week, while 31% use at least six apps on a weekly basis. By 2017, there will be over 268 billion app downloads, leading to revenues of US$77 billion. Approximately 46% of app downloaders report that they have paid for an app. App users spend money by either paying for an app or making in-app purchases; this is particularly true of games, where additional lives are available as in-app purchases. By 2017, in-app purchases are expected to account for 48% of the revenue of app stores. The following are the top five smartphone app categories, by number of hours spent on average per month per person.

  1. Search portals and social media - 10 hours and 56 minutes
  2. Entertainment - 10 hours and 54 minutes
  3. Communication - 3 hours and 48 minutes
  4. Productivity and Tools - 2 hours and 16 minutes
  5. Commerce and Shopping - 1 hour and 33 minutes

Mobile vs PC Browser Use
Mobile vs PC Browser Use
Time Spent on Mobile Phones
Time Spent on Mobile Phones
Apps Can Help Business
Apps Can Help Business

Use of Mobile Apps for Business

When it comes to using apps for business, there is a wide spectrum of uses, from the most basic to the most advanced. As reported by TechTarget, Adam Bookman, co-founder of San Jose, California-based enterprise mobile application development company, Propelics Inc, says, “There's a lot of variation in the market. A lot of companies start their quest on mobile with email and calendar. What we see typically is that after the IT teams have gotten over some security and risk concerns, the next place that companies go is bringing the tools that you use on a desktop to a mobile device: access to your CRM [customer relationship management] system, access to SharePoint, access to your business intelligence reporting system. [Companies are] essentially using mobile as another screen which can help make workers more productive. So really, the true value of mobile comes when you use mobile to rethink processes, and some companies are really getting there.” Thus, companies may install apps on the phones of their employees that allow the employees to check their emails; this is a most basic app for business. Then, there are apps developed by companies for logistics industries, such as carriers, to do everything from tracking orders to tracking drivers. There is a whole range of business processes that can be simplified by apps, and we will be seeing many such apps in the future.

Most Popular Mobile Apps
Most Popular Mobile Apps


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