Android download surge set to boost start-up app developers

By Oliver Milman
Thursday, 08 September 2011

Start-up app developers are set for a boost, with new research predicting that the number of Android downloads in the Asia-Pacific region will overtake Apple’s iPhone for the first time this year.


The report, undertaken by Ovum, tips that 1.8 billion Android apps will be downloaded this year in the region, compared to Apple’s 1.5 billion.


This is a huge spike on the 244 million and 424 million apps, respectively, downloaded from the two top players last year.

Ovum says that Android will build an era of dominance over Apple in the years to come, tipping the Google platform to hit 6.07 billion downloads in 2016, compared to Apple’s 3.4 billion.


According to the report, overall Asia-Pacific revenues from paid-for mobile apps will hit $871 million this year, compared to $302 million in 2016. The market is predicted to be worth $2.2 billion in 2016.


While Android and Apple are set to retain their top two positions, Ovum says that the Windows Phone operating system will overtake BlackBerry for third place in downloads by 2015.


Ovum devices analyst Nick Dillon says, “Consumers’ seemingly insatiable demand for mobile applications is set to continue this year, with downloads from app stores increasing around the world”.


“The outlook for the longer-term is also positive, with consumers set to continue to use apps to add new features to their phones and to access their favourite services on the go.”


“The huge lead in downloads that Android will take on Apple is being driven by the growth of the platform as a result of its increasing popularity and progress into lower price points.”


“But although Android phones will lead on total download numbers, iPhone will continue to dominate the AP market in terms of revenues from paid-for apps, reaching $808 million in 2016, compared to $394 million for Android.”


Ned Dwyer, managing director of digital agency Native Digital, tells StartupSmart that increasing numbers of his clients are now demanding Android apps, rather than just iPhone ones.


“Before, we’d push the cart for Android, but clients now realise it’s a commercial imperative to be on the platform,” he says.


“One advantage Android has is that you can immediately publish your app, whereas with Apple you have to wait two weeks for approval.”


“I think a lot of people want an alternative to Apple, to make sure it doesn’t dominate the market. I think there’s a bit of a backlash.”


“It’s now becoming economically viable to just release an Android app. It’s good for developers because they can offer clients more, which is obviously good for billings.”


“This will make the market more exciting and competitive. It’s a good time for the industry at the moment.”

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