About a decade ago, when the Apple iPhone was yet to be introduced to the world, the features and functions of smartphones was limited to certain areas such as entertainment. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone which paved way to a revolution in the field of technology. Apple created a platform, the Apple Store, in July 2008 where mobile application developers can sell their products and showcase their potential. Within a span of six years, there were over a million applications available for download via the Apple store. The demand for mobile applications has been in increasing, thanks to the advancements in the field of smartphone technology. Mobile applications have not only created a huge market for themselves (worth 41.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2015) but have changed the way how services and products can be delivered to consumers. Today, businesses, small, medium and large, are thinking of new ways in which they can interact and deliver services and products to consumers effectively through mobile phone applications. The increase in penetration of smartphones in Indian market and growing demand for new applications based on lifestyle and need of consumers has raised the scope of mobile application development as a career in India.
The Mobile App Revolution
Prior to the introduction of Apple Store and Google Play, mobile applications were sold through telecom operators and the developers had to pay a major share to the telecom bigwigs for each product that was sold through their networks. The launch of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones changed the dynamics of mobile application market. These smartphones reduced the hold of telecom operators on mobile application market. Smartphone manufacturers further opened doors of great opportunities by creating platforms where developers could sell their products. Thus, mobile applications market grew very soon and brought a rapid transformation in the way how content, product and services can be delivered to consumers. An estimated revenue of $ 4.5 billion was generated during the year 2009 according to a report from Markets and Markets. From 2011 to 2013, there was an increase in global market revenue from $ 24.9 billion to $ 81.4 billion according to ICRIER reports. There has been a rapid growth in the number of downloads of applications in Google Play and Apple Store. In Sept 2012, the number of downloads in Google Play was about 15 billion apps. As per the latest update in May 2016, there were about 65 billion downloads of apps from Google store, according to a report from Statista.
With businesses changing their approach towards consumers and the change in lifestyle and raise in demands of consumers, this growth is expected to continue. The India picture seems even more positive since smartphones are yet to penetrate in a vast portion of the country.
Mobile Applications – Indian Market and Future Prospects
Though India is world’s second largest smartphone market, the penetration of the product is less than 30% among the total population. With penetration of mobile phones set to increase at great pace in the years to come, India’s prospects seem to be great. During the period 2012 to 2016 the mobile internet users increased from 48 million to 371 million users according to a report from IAMAI. Increase in penetration of smartphones in both rural and urban markets brings a major change in consumer base. As the consumer base spreads across geographic and economic scales, new needs are discovered with which comes new ideas and new apps. Large players such as Google and Apple are all set to keep up to the pace of growth and deliver what consumers expect. With digitalization taking over the world, the future of Indian mobile application market is expected to be bright and here to stay for long.
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