Analyst firm released some interesting figures about mobile application download a few hours before Apple released figures about the incredible success of the App store.
Juniper predicts that by 2014, around 20 billion mobile apps will be downloaded a year. Given that Apple's 40 million iPhone and iPod Touch devices managed to reach that 1.5 billion within 12 months, one can expect that an army of 400 million smartphone or smartphone-like devices will easily be able to reach Juniper's prediction.
The firm's Mobile Application research report says that the main factors behind the meteoric growth will be an increasing rolll out of "app stores" aimed at mass market mobile phones, coupled with enhancements to the app store interfaces and a growing number of titles appealing to wider demographics.
Juniper however did not mention the risks associated with an increased fragmentation of the market which, like for the nascent portable audio market, may favour Apple in the long term. LG, Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft, Google, Blackberry and Pre have all said that they will be launching their own application store.
Ovum predicted earlier last month that Google's open source mobile platform, Android, is expected to occupy 18 percent of the smartphone market with around 72 million units, with a userbase of around 400 million smartphone. By then, smartphones are expected to own roughly 40 percent of the global mobile phone market.
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Juniper timed the release of this report perfectly. It looks as if there is no level playing. When the iPod was launched together with iTunes so long ago, Creative and many others were already on the market. In comparison, this time around, Apple has a very, very long headstart and it is very unlikely that it will flinch.
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