NEW YORK - February 23, 2009 - A survey of 235 US smartphone users who installed
applications on their devices in 2008, conducted by ABI Research in November,
reveals that a surprising 16.5% spent between $100 and $499. That level of spending
is especially significant given the low cost of most mobile applications, ranging
from as little as a dollar or two at Apple’s iPhone App Store, to at most
Those low App Store prices are one of the contentious issues discussed in a new
global ABI Research study of mobile application storefronts.
“Apple is seen by some as hurting the market with its iPhone App Store,”
says senior analyst Jeff Orr, “It drives the price of content down to $1-2,
using a model similar to its successful iTunes music store. If you exclude Apple
from the mix, applications for other platforms cost about $7-25 each.”
Many developers, lacking the resources to author applications for all available
smartphone platforms, have to focus on one. That means they have a “margin vs.
volume” quandary: sell many copies for the iPhone at a very low price of which
the developer receives 70%, or sell fewer via one of the other application
storefronts, but charge a higher price and earn more per transaction.
“On the other hand,” says Orr, “Apple did a lot for the market
with its massive marketing effort telling the public how great mobile content is.
That created a ‘halo’ effect for the rest of the industry: other device
manufacturers and content developers working on non-Apple platforms all saw a bump
in sales and downloads because there’s more awareness of the smartphone
category. In 2009 a number of new mobile application storefronts will be launched
from Nokia, Palm, RIM and Samsung.”
“Mobile Application Storefronts” describes the emergence of on-deck and
web-based application storefronts for smartphones. It explains the general business
models and examines Apple’s iTunes App Store in detail. It explores major
market trends and opportunities and forecasts revenue and unit downloads from mobile
application storefronts 2008~2013.
It is a component of the firm’s The Mobile Consumer Research Service.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging
trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI
Research’s worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers
through research and advisory services in seven key practice areas. Est. 1990. For
more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
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