Wondering why Apple (AAPL) is sinking so much effort into building its own Maps application? Because it doesn’t want Google (GOOG) to gobble up all the revenue from big-name mobile applications. ComScore has published its most recent monthly review of the top iOS and Android apps in the United States ranked by unique visitors and has found that Google captured 5 of the top 6 spots with Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. In fact, Facebook (FB) was the only non-Google app to crack the top 6, although it also had the benefit of being the most-visited app in the entire country by a margin of more than 10 million unique visitors. iTunes was the only Apple app to crack the top 10, meanwhile, as it ranked eighth with roughly 46 million unique visitors last month.
Some day, we may refer to lazy and docile people as “app potatoes.” New data from Flurry Analytics shows that Americans are spending more time using mobile apps than ever before, and are now spending nearly as much time using them as they spend watching television. According to Flurry, U.S. consumers now spend 127 minutes per day using mobile apps, up from just 94 minutes per day one year ago. Television, by contrast, has remained constant as Americans spent an average of 168 minutes per day watching TV in both 2011 and 2012. Flurry doesn’t think that apps are just a fad either, as the firm writes that “we ultimately expect apps on tablets and smartphones to challenge broadcast television as the dominant channel for media consumption.”
This week, Canalys estimated that just 25 developers made half of all app revenue on iPhone and Google (GOOG) Play apps in the United States during the first 20 days of November. Canalys seems to have excluded iPad app revenue for some reason. The 25 developers were estimated to have grossed $60 million in 20 days, translating to a roughly $90 million monthly run rate in November. The entire app market thus generated $180 million in November. More →
Sorry, startup app developers: Your chances of becoming rich overnight are pretty low. Research firm Canalys has come out with a new report showing that the top 25 mobile app developers account for half of all mobile app revenues generated, or roughly “$60 million from paid-for downloads and in-app purchases.” And with the exception of Pandora (P), all the top-grossing app developers were gaming companies such as Zynga (ZNGA), Rovio and EA (EA). Canalys analyst Chris Jones says that these companies are particularly successful because they don’t put all their eggs in one basket and try to generate multiple revenue-generating mobile games. More →
Many tech journalists have recently rendered grim judgments on the mobile app market. One such jeremiad was recently published by The Atlantic. The column ponders “How Much Longer Can Tech’s Free Party Last?” and whether “somewhere in the distant future the promise of monetization” is “dangling.” Sounds scary, right? More →
Given how successful games such as Rovio’s Bad Piggies have been, it’s not shocking that mobile gaming hasn’t peaked yet. According to the NPD Group’s latest Mobile Gaming 2012 report, 23 percent of 5,923 “app gamers” surveyed said they played games exclusively on mobile devices and nearly 50% of them said they played more mobile games this year compared to 2011. The NPD Group cited two reasons for the rapid increase in app gamers: free games and convenience. While many app games do start out free, 30 percent of those surveyed said they had made in-app purchases or upgraded from the free version to the paid one.
As major app vendors from Rovio to Zynga (ZNGA) bulked up, hired hundreds of people and started hunting for new game franchises, Lima Sky took a path less traveled. Its first hit game is the oldest in the business, and the company has no plans to publish another one. But if things go as planned, Doodle Jump will never die. More →
Nokia (NOK) had big plans to bring a more capable platform to emerging markets but three consecutive billion-dollar quarterly losses forced the company to discontinue development of its secret OS. The Finnish’s vendor’s plans to bring smartphone functionality to developing markets at rock-bottom prices remain unclear, but a startup is stepping into the space with an innovative solution that could have a huge impact on the market. More →
It seems there’s a new app for iPhone users who feel like they’re being watched. Per Technology Review, the new Silent Circle iOS app encrypts every call, text or email sent from users’ iPhones and thus prevents them from being intercepted by third parties. The app is the brainchild of Phil Zimmermann, the Internet privacy pioneer who developed the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) email encryption protocol all the way back in 1991. The app is still in its development stages and is being tested out for both iPhone and iPad, and Zimmermann hopes to have it ready to sell by the end of the year as a $20 monthly subscription service, Technology Review reports. More →
Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the United States have spent money on mobile applications on at least one occasion according to a survey conducted by ABI Research. More than 70% of users spend little to nothing on apps, however, while the highest 3% of all spenders account for nearly 20% of the total amount spent. “The median amount among the consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just $7.50 per month,” senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said. “This reflects the disproportionate role of big spenders as a revenue source.” ABI Research also found that the most successful money-making apps have typically been utility apps often used for business purposes, or iOS games that utilize in-app purchases, though in both cases the money comes from a remarkably small number of customers. Read on for ABI Research’s press release. More →
With Instagram recently having been acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something, cashing in for $200 million, developers are attacking the mobile app space with a renewed vigor. Before jumping head first into a new project aiming to be the next big acquisition target, developers might be wise to look over a white paper recently put together by App Promo. More →
After reports surfaced claiming the Google Play Store was about to reach 15 billion app downloads, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that it reached the milestone “a few weeks ago.” Apple reached the same number of downloads in July 2011 and recently surpassed 25 billion downloads in March. The gap between the two marketplaces seems to be widening slightly, with Google seeing about 1 billion app downloads per month while Apple is serving about 1.25 billion app downloads per month. The Google Play Store currently has more than 500,000 apps, while Apple’s App Store has some 600,000. There have been reports, however, that claim iOS developers are making more money than their Android counterparts. Analyst Horace Dediu noted that up until the end of January 2012, Google has paid developers $320 million compared to $4 billion from Apple, but the Cupertino-based company’s app download rate is reportedly slowing, having fallen by 30% in March. Google expects to earn $35.9 million from its app store this year. More →