The number of alternative Android app stores is still growing in a steady manner, a recent study conducted by 451 Research and sponsored by mobile strategy platform appScatter found. According to the company's 15-page white paper published on Wednesday, while the Google Play Store might have been the only viable online market for Android apps several years back, that dominance is now gradually being challenged by a wide variety of emerging alternatives that are gaining traction due to the increasing global demand for apps. Even though many previous studies suggested that app markets in certain countries are already showing significant signs of saturation, 451 Research's report indicates that those assessments are overblown and the market is still growing at a consistent pace, as evidenced by the increase in popularity of alternative Android app stores.
The main factor driving the global demand for mobile apps is the increasing number of smartphone users in the world, the study suggests. Today, there's approximately 2.64 billion of consumers that are actively using mobile apps on a somewhat regular basis and that number is expected to increase to over 3.13 billion by the end of next year, 451 Research claims. The rising number of popular Google Play Store alternatives is the perfect opportunity for developers to distribute and promote their apps in unique ways, the research indicates, adding that third-party Android app stores allow app developers to commit to regional distribution and target their audiences more efficiently.
Despite its advantages, 451 Research admits that publishing apps on a broad range of alternative marketplaces in addition to the Google Play Store isn't a viable option for all developers seeing how such approach to distribution requires time and financial resources, a luxury that not every independent studio has. Regardless, as the number of apps keeps growing, a diversified distribution is becoming an increasingly more important factor for commercial success, the study suggests. According to recent trends, the digital app marketplace might ultimately become extremely similar to physical markets in which a robust distribution network is just as important as having a quality product. Refer to the infographic beneath this writing to see some general market data revealed in 451 Research's latest study.