Five Years Later, Apple’s App Store Is Still Number One

App Store 2008As Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store celebrates its fifth anniversary, some Apple watchers are wondering how long the Cupertino-based company is likely to keep dominating the mobile software market. Respected market research firm, ABI Research, thinks the trend is likely to continue for at least another 18 months.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference this year, CEO Tim Cook reveled in just how successful the App Store has been over the past five years, noting that the $10 billion that has been paid to developers is “more than the three other app platforms combined.” Apple has surpassed 50 billion app downloads and paid approximately $10 billion to app developers.

Part of the App Store’s success may be due to its meritocratic business environment. “Apple are very even-handed in the way they treat people, in terms of not favouring the biggest companies over smaller ones. As a small startup without millions of quid in investment or an established presence, that gives you an extremely level playing field in which to operate,” said app developer Matthew Wiggins via The Guardian.

Although the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play app store is not far behind Apple’s record with 48 billion downloads, iOS developers continue to take the lion’s share of the app market’s profits. ABI Research senior analyst Josh Flood pointed out this fact in a recent report.

“iOS continues to lead the way, and the OS is projected to generate over two-thirds of the revenues for smartphone and tablet apps in 2013. Although Google’s Android OS recently surpassed Apple in terms of total app numbers, iOS users continue to prove they’re more willing to depart with their cash. The revenue gap between the two leading OSes looks unlikely to close over the next 18 months,” wrote Flood.

ABI Research projects that the total mobile app market will be worth $27 billion in 2013. The report also notes that tablets are becoming an increasingly more important segment of the overall mobile app market. The report notes that tablet users are inclined to spend even more money on apps because of the larger screen size and that “tablet app revenues will overtake smartphones by 2017.”

The growing tablet app market bodes well for Apple since it already dominates the global tablet market with a 39.6 percent share in the first quarter of 2013 according to IDC data. Considering the App Store’s established track record of success and the growing tablet app market, ABI Research’s predictions regarding the App Store’s success actually appear to be fairly conservative. Here’s how Apple closed out the week on Friday.

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