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Mobile App Downloads to Reach 48 Billion by 2015

7 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Downloads of third-party applications, or apps, for smartphones are expected to approach 48 billion in 2015 — due in large part to the availability of touchscreen interfaces on devices, according to a new research report.

The popularity of smartphones also is fueled by the plethora of downloadable (mostly free) apps, which enable users to access movies (Netflix, mSpot, Amazon VOD, Blockbuster, etc.), print media, music, games, navigation, weather, and related content and functionality.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat, which is owned by The NPD Group, reported that touchscreens would account for nearly 90% of smartphones shipped this year and increase to 100% over the next few years.

Smartphones are expected to increase from 23% of total phone shipments in 2010 to 45% in 2015. Last December the number of applications in the Apple App Store reached 350,000, while the Android Market reached 80,000 apps. Survey results show that Apple and Android users are significantly more likely than BlackBerry users to have downloaded mobile applications.

Smartphone applications are not only about 3G. Nearly 50% survey respondents reported downloading applications over Wi-Fi.

“The prevalence of handset touchscreens is a significant development impacting the mobile applications market,” said senior analyst Amy Cravens. “The projected rapid penetration of touchscreen-enabled devices will allow more users to easily interact with mobile applications, thereby driving growth. Increased on-board memory capacity will also lead to a better user experience.”

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