The number of mobile applications available on the market by 2020 could reach 10 million, making the phenomenon bigger than the Internet, according to pioneering mobile online application store Getjar.
The company, which was launched back in 2004 by its current CEO, Ilja Laurs, has around 350,000 registered developers and supports more than 1610 devices and nearly 50,000 different applications.
Getjar has seen a massive increase in the number of file downloads - applications or games - over the past few month. Back in October 2008, the company averaged 3.5 million downloads per week. For the week ending July 19th, this increased to 8.9 million, a 254 percent increase in less than 10 months.
No surprise therefore that Laurs told the audience at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco that "Apps will be as big if not bigger than the internet, peaking at around 100,000 by the end of the year."
Laurs told the BBC however that there will be a gradual fall in the rate of development in 2010 and beyond as mobile apps become as popular as websites are today.
He also predicts that the majority - 90 percent - of developers will fail either because they didn't make enough money or because they simply did not make a return on their investment.
This is reminiscent of how Microsoft's Windows ecosystem matured over the years with many of its developers (Jasc, Quarterdeck etc) getting snapped up or simply stopping developing altogether.
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Will Apps become bigger than the Internet? Not sure about that. Apps, as sexy as they are, are merely installable applications. And the way desktop applications are going, it is likely that the Software As A Service (SAAS) paradigm, could kill the Apps segment by 2020 as more developers choose to go online.
Apps 'to be as big as internet'
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