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Will 2012 Be the Year of the App?

The numbers vary from day to day, and source to source, but best guess is that Apple has around 500,000 apps in the store. Android Market has approximately 300,000 active apps and the Windows Marketplace has 40,000. That’s a lot of apps.

According to the Millennial Media Mobile Mix for October, Music and Entertainment is now the number one category of apps. This is up over last year, when the category came in 4th and 5th. (They used to be counted as two separate categories.)

Last year, Games held the number one spot but have dropped to number 2, kicking Mocial down to 4th place. Holding steady at number 3 is Communications.

Millennial asked developers about their app plans for 2012 and here’s what they had to say:

What’s surprising to me is that only 21% said they would be looking for ways to monetize revenue. Does that mean they’re happy with what they’re making now? Or is it that developers are building apps as a project for a client, so monetization isn’t their concern?

For marketers, there are two ways to make money on apps. There’s the fee paid for the app itself, and there are the sales and upgrades that come as a result of the app. A free recipe app with links to wholesome ingredients you sell online, can be just as profitable as wholesome recipe app that costs $1.99 to download.

As for upgrades. . . well, I swore I’d never spend a dollar for virtual gaming goods, but I gave in to the power of the Might Eagle in Angry Birds. I’ve also noticed that my paid app threshold has already risen beyond the initial .99. Now that I own an iPad, I’ve paid up to $9.99 for app and I can imagine my overall app budget will rise in 2012.

This past summer, Pew Internet & American Life Project estimated that 35% of Americans own a smartphone.  With rumors flying that Facebook is developing a smartphone (named for Buffy the Vampire Slayer), it’s easy to see that percentage climbing close to 50% in 2012.

Where do you stand with apps? Are you using apps to market your company or product? Are you thinking about it? Maybe you’re hoping to move into the app biz? There’s still plenty of room to grow in the app world. Tell us how it looks from your end.

  • http://www.microsourcing.com/disciplines/mobile-app-development.asp MicroSourcing

    It’s a good time to develop apps as a way of reaching out to consumers, given the increasing demand for them. Smart phones have also become ubiquitous, and businesses that ignore this trend could lose out on the opportunity.

  • http://www.dreamscape-design.co.uk Alex

    I work for a web design company and over the past year we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of clients interested in mobile apps.

    I can imagine this interest is going to snowball, over the next year or two. 2010 was the year for businesses to integrate social media, and 2012 looks like its going to be the year of the app.

  • lagreta

    2012 is the year of App
    http://www.la-greta.com