By Vamien McKalin | Apr 10, 2013 01:21 PM EDT
Smartphone users love to download applications; that's why it comes as no surprise when a report from Canalys states that app downloads have risen 11 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012.
In the first quarter of 2013, Apple's App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry World totaled a massive 13.4 billion app downloads — this allowed for revenues to climb above 9 percent, to hit the $2.2 billion mark.
The strongest app downloads happened in North America and Europe, but that didn't stop South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia from becoming the strongest emerging markets for app download growth, due to powerful smartphone adoption rates in those countries.
"Apps have had a huge impact on the way consumers use mobile devices, what they value, and what they expect from smart phones and tablets," said Adam Daum, Canalys' chief analyst. "They are now central to how consumers engage with content and connected services, and how they personalize their devices around the app-enabled features that are important to them."
So far, Apple's App Store still holds the most number of applications, and is still the most profitable compared to the competition. While Apple's App Store makes the most money, Google Play Store has more users downloading applications than other competing services. This is mainly because most Android applications are free.
"Apple's App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world," said Tim Shepherd, a Canalys senior analyst. "In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remains distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored."
Windows Phone marketplace and BlackBerry world has a long way to go before catching up with iOS and Android. The companies behind both these operating systems must step up the tempo and come out gunning to keep relevancy alive.
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