Lets start from the money. In 2009 the total value of all apps income to the mobile industry was 4.1 Billion dollars. Before you think that wow, Apple has done an amazing job – bear in mind that the majority of this income is from operator app sales (“on deck” as Americans like to call them). So if your operator sells some Blackberry handsets and a business data package and then a business app – that is operator business. Or someone with a feature phone that does Java, who downloads a Java game from the operator’s WAP based application download service, that is operator income. The Apple App Store is ‘off portal’ income. This 4.1 Billion dollar total includes all apps.
How many was that in 2009. A big number 7 Billion total downloads (remember Apple, with all its buzz and attention only did 2 Billion last year, and the other branded app stores are miniscure compared to it). And the average cost across all apps (including free ones) is about 59 cents. The Asian market gets most downloads but the North American market earns most of the revenues. Advertising based apps were worth 12% of the total or 492 Million dollars. This is a significant number. some of the misguided – analysts suggested mobile advertising (total, global) was worth something between 1 and 2 Billion dollars last year – when Japan’s mobile ad market alone is worth over 1 Billlion. Most who measure mobile ads (seriously haha, not these clueless ones) tend to count the values of the major ad categories in mobile like banner ads )(think Admob) and SMS ads and MMS ads and preroll and interstitial ads and mobile search ads etc. The realistic value of mobile advertising in 2009 is more in the range of 4 Billion to 7 Billion dollars.
Now we have – I believe for the first time in the public domain at least – a solid number for this hard-to-pin number, the value of mobile adver-apps at half a billion dollars. It also adds to the aggregate number that the serious analysts and statisticians of the mobile industry need to add to the mobile ad market size. Note that mobile ad market size would in some cases ’jump’ by 10% just by this factor alone.
The total value of the mobile industry service revenues were 861 Billion dollars in 2009. So all apps, app store apps free and paid, plus operator sold apps at 4.1 Billion dollars formed only one half of one percent of the industry’s revenues. Also the total mobile data market was worth 220 Billion dollars (this includes SMS obviously) so out of all mobile data revenues of this industry, mobile apps generated under 2%. .
We also get an analysis of the regional differences – really no surprise here, North America makes most money per app, Europe second, Africa last. The more fascinating numbers are on the average cost of paid apps (remembering most apps are free). Paid apps had an average price of $1.90 in 2009. Again, remeber this is not the same as app store price, as business-oriented apps tend to be significantly more expensive (ie Blackberry enterprise apps or Nokia E-Series apps) than consumer-oriented app store apps. But yes, the global average price per paid app is $1.90.
Moroever, we find that in 2009 there were 5.1 Billion free apps (generating ad revenues of 0.09 cents per app on average) and 1.9 Billion paid apps earning $1.90 per app. Multiplied accross, we arrive at 7 Billlion total downloads earning 4.1 Billion dollars.
Finally the apps space is slated to grow at an annual rate of 92% for application downloads (nearly doubling per year) and 62% for the revenue growth .