Apple didn’t invent downloadable third-party applications for mobile devices. In fact, Apple were a decade late to the party, but what they did was persuade developers to place their applications into the one depositary. This has many advantages: it makes it easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for, it makes it easier to implement basic standards and it provides a framework for payments and of course, to allow Apple the ability to skim money off the top of each sale. And since Apple introduced the App Store in 2008 it has steadily grown year on year. In 2014, the amount being paid out to developers exceeded the amount taken by Hollywood at the box office. And this ignores the Google Play Store, which had tended to lag behind the Apple App Store.
Revenue paid out to developers is only one metric that may be used to compare the size of the industries. Another is the number of people employed by each industry and here again, the source quotes the iOS numbers rather than the combined Play Store and App Store numbers. iOS developers employ 627,000 individuals compared with 374,000 by Hollywood. However, where the industry is going is more interesting because the mobile device application market is still in its relative infancy and the movie industry is mature. In 2014, Google announced the one billion Android users point, but the average revenue per customer is around half that of iOS. Android, unlike the iPhone, is also pushing into the developing markets. Google are seeking the next billion user point, whereas Apple is not going to ‘cheapen’ their premium brand by entering the developing market, with a less expensive device. Perhaps the mobile application market is still smaller than the overall movie business, but it’s growing rapidly to catch up and overtake.
Businesses and individuals are only just starting to take the mobile application market seriously, too. In the eyes of many, the App Store is an Apple side project, but these numbers do not lie. Furthermore, we’ve seen carriers scrambling to offer payment via the customer bills as a means of driving revenue. This is especially important in areas of the world where there is low credit card exposure; if a customer is able to pay their phone bill, placing application purchases on here helps them access the content they want. It also generates additional revenue for the carrier and of course, the application store owner. With such a large and rapidly growing application industry, one increasingly important aspect is making sure that a particular application is seen by the target audience. It’s here where an app review service can be very useful to make sure that enough users see your product; hit us up at Android Headlines as we can help.