Consumers are increasingly turning to recommendation engines, friends, social networking or advertising to discover mobile applications rather than sorting through the thousands of mobile apps available, according to Gartner.
It predicts that through 2018, less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.
“The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many,” said Ken Dulaney, Vice President and Analyst, Gartner. “However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognise this may find profits elusive.”
Dulaney described the mobile application market as “hyperactive” with more than 200 vendors developing mobile application development platforms and millions of developers using these products and open-source tools to build mobile applications. In addition, the bounty of good, free mobile apps has set high expectations for what should be paid for.
“There are so many applications that are free and that will never directly generate revenue. Gartner is forecasting that, by 2017, 94.5 percent of downloads will be for free apps,” said Mr. Dulaney. “Furthermore, of paid applications, about 90 percent are downloaded less than 500 times per day and make less than $1,250 a day. This is only going to get worse in the future when there will be even greater competition, especially in successful markets.”
Gartner also outlined two additional predictions around mobility.
It said that by 2016, 20 percent of enterprise BYOD programs will fail due to enterprise deployment of MDM measures that are too restrictive.
“Whether via formal BYOD programs, or just via devices coming in the back door and being configured to access corporate systems, the use of consumer technologies in the work environment presents a threat to IT control of endpoint computing resources,” Dulaney said. “Given the control that IT has exercised over personal computers by developing and deploying images to company-managed PCs, many IT organisations will implement strong controls for mobile devices.”
“At least three platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) will gain significant market share in the smartphone, tablet and PC space, requiring many organizations to support multiple platforms for both consumer- and employee-facing applications,” said Dulaney. “Although more than 100 ‘platform independent’ development tools exist, most involve technical or commercial compromises, such as lock-in to relatively niche technologies and small vendors. This will drive increasing interest in HTML5 as a somewhat-standardized, widely available, platform-neutral delivery technology.”