App sales to hit $35bn

Steve Dinneen
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APP sales are set to rocket to $35bn (£22.2bn) a year by 2014, according to new research by IDC.

A staggering 10.9bn apps for devices including smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad will be downloaded this year alone, with the number rising to 76.9bn annually in 2014 – a growth rate of around 60 per cent a year.

Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile and Wireless research at IDC said: “Mobile app developers will ‘appify’ just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds. 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 roaring growth is great news for app marketplaces including Apple’s app store, which keeps 30 per cent of the sale price of every download. Google and Microsoft both charge a lower commission for access to their app platforms.

At present analysts estimate Apple’s app store contributes just one per cent of its gross profit – roughly $198m. However, the rapid growth combined with the firm’s new iAds platform, which allows it to charge for adverts contained within adverts, is set to drive this far higher.

Apple has also shown its belief that apps will drive future sales by allowing them to be installed for the first time on its new generation of laptops as well as its hand held devices.

Angry Birds is among the most successful app, with 7m downloads in the 12 months since its release, with $4.9m of that going to developer Rovio. Doodle Jump, another simple but addictive game, has similar sales figures.