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December 12, 2012

About 81 billion mobile apps downloaded from storefronts until September: report

89 % of the applications were downloaded from native storefronts

By CBR Staff Writer

App users have downloaded a cumulative total of 81 billion smartphone and tablet apps until the end-September 2012 through mobile application storefronts, according to a report by ABI Research.

According to a report, Mobile Application Markets, about of 89 % of the applications were downloaded from native storefronts that come with the device’s operating system.

ABI Research senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said that the current status quo is based on storefronts that the operating system vendors provide as part of the OS experience, and there is no evidence that this would change in the future.

"A year ago it still looked like that, for example, mobile operators could find a viable business case in the curation of Android apps, but that opportunity evaporated once Google got its storefront act together, Markkanen said.

"Today, it makes sense for operators to distribute apps only under special circumstances, such as the ones that we’re seeing in China."

"Similarly, it’s unlikely that the universal, catch-all nature of app distribution would start breaking up into smaller niche storefronts.

There is a certain demand for specialist stores, but even then the niche players should position themselves as recommendation channels driving traffic to native storefronts and not actual distributors. Markkanen added.

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The research claimed that running a user-friendly app distribution channel is expensive and the opportunity for smaller storefronts built around selected categories limited.

However B2B apps and the consumer categories are exceptions with which the universal storefronts don’t want to be associated with, especially adult content, the report added.

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