Apple will reap more than three-fourths of all mobile app store revenues generated this year, but rival Google's growth is climbing faster, a research analyst said yesterday.
The combined revenues from the four major app stores -- those run by Apple, Google, Research in Motion (RIM) and Nokia -- will soar by 78 per cent this year to $3.8 billion, said IHS iSuppli in a research note published Tuesday.
Apple's App Store will account for $2.91 billion, or a 76.6 per cent share of the total market, on the back of a forecast of 10.3 billion downloads. If iSuppli's estimate is accurate, in 2011 the App Store will post a 63.4 per cent increase over last year's revenues of $1.78 billion.
According to Jack Kent, an iSuppli analyst who covers mobile media, Apple will retain its majority through at least 2014, when it will rake in 60 per cent of a projected industry-wide $8.3 billion in mobile app income.
"[That will be] despite efforts by the other stores to match Apple's ability to monetize its users," said Kent in his note.
But Google's Android Market will grow at a rate four times faster than the App Store this year.
Android Market revenue will skyrocket by 295 per cent in 2011 to an estimated $425 million, putting it on a path to second place and unseating RIM's Blackberry App World on the way. iSuppli estimated that Android Market will handle 5.8 billion app downloads this year.
App World and Nokia's Ovi Store will bring up the rear, with projected revenues of $279 million and $201 million respectively. Kent said that neither store will challenge the top spots held by the App Store and Android Market.
Not on iSuppli's list for 2011 is Microsoft's Windows Marketplace, but Kent said that it and perhaps others, "[could] conceivably could gain enough size and presence in the future to shake up the market."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.