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Over the past 12 months, the global market for applications – fuelled by the astonishing and unprecedented activity experienced on Apple’s App Store and iPhone – has continued its stellar levels of growth. At the end of April 2009, Apple had confirmed that downloads from the store (to iPhone and iPod Touch combined) had just passed 1 billion; by early-April 2010, this number had exceeded 4 billion. The scale of this success becomes even more apparent when one considers that iPhones accounted for less than 1% of the installed base of mobile handsets in 2009, yet around 35% of application downloads to mobiles: indeed, the extent to which it has galvanized the marketplace can be illustrated by the fact that in 2007, the total number of games downloaded to handsets (overwhelmingly Java and BREW) stood at just over 1.1 billion; by 2009, annual downloads had risen to more than 3.7 billion. However, the impact of the App Store can be demonstrated in more than just raw data. Operators, the traditional gatekeepers to the end-user, have felt obliged to reconsider their strategies for selling mobile content; as download rates to iPhones have continued to accelerate, so an increasing  proportion of operators have become convinced that the development of their own applications storefront is the optimal method of moving forwards. Likewise, handset vendors, fearful that Apple  will continue to erode their share of the smartphone market, have moved to develop own-brand apps stores. In addition, several content aggregators perceive an opportunity to create platform-agnostic stores.

Feb 8, 2021
Dec 1, 2010
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