Software applications designed to run on mobile computing devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices facilitating various functionality are termed mobile applications or mobile apps. These apps can be easily downloaded to mobile devices via the Internet. Typically, mobile apps are downloaded from application distribution platforms such as Google Play Store (Android), Apple App Store, and Windows Phone Store. Mobile applications benefit users by connecting them to various Internet-based services that are commonly accessed from desktop or laptop computers. Moreover, mobile apps can be used as website bookmarking utilities, which helps in accessing mobile-based instant messaging services such as Gmail and other websites. The mobile apps market is majorly dominated by consumer apps such as gaming, messaging, social networks, and services.
The mobile application market is majorly driven by the growing penetration of smartphones and tablets globally. The market is expected to witness strong growth over the forecast period due to rising demand for high-performance smartphones and growing penetration of mobile Internet across the globe. With the growing usage of Internet-based services globally, the demand for online mobile apps is expected to rise significantly. However, the mobile applications market might be affected due to the significant advantages of mobile websites over the mobile apps.
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The games and entertainment category of the mobile applications dominated the global mobile applications market with the highest revenue share in 2013. This was majorly due to the highest numbers of downloads by users and demand for mobile entertainment apps such as online music being in this category. The penetration of smartphones is majorly seen in the age group of 15 to 40 years. This boosts the demand for mobile apps in the games and entertainment category. Additionally, there are large numbers of mobile gaming apps and mobile entertainment apps available, which encourages their adoption around the globe. Thus, the games and entertainment category is expected to remain dominant in the global mobile applications market in the coming years.
In 2013, North America accounted for the largest share of around 34% of the global mobile applications market. This was due to the high penetration of smartphones and other handheld devices in the region. Asia Pacific is expected to remain the fastest-growing regional market for mobile applications. Countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Australia account for large populations, boosting the penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices in the region. Consequently, Asia Pacific is expected to remain dominant in the global mobile applications in terms of revenue over the forecast period.
Some of the leading players in this market are Apple, Inc., Blackberry Ltd., QBurst, Sourcebits, Inc., Softeq Development Corporation, WillowTree Apps, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Handmark Inc., OpenXcell Tehnolabs Pvt. Ltd., Y Media Labs, Inc. and Google, Inc.