Fast Company

App Stores Will Be $4 Billion Business This Year

A new report illuminates how Apple, Google, RIM, and Nokia will battle for the top spot in this lucrative market.

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The revenues from the major app stores will nearly double this year, reaching $3.8 billion in revenue in 2011, according to the market research firm iSuppli. Apple holds the lion's share of this market, at about three-quarters of the whole. The quarter's worth of leftover scraps will be divvied mostly among Google's, Nokia's, and RIM's own app stores. (Microsoft's Windows Marketplace only nabs a passing mention at this point, but the report notes that that could change in the future.)

Just two years ago, this wasn't even a billion-dollar industry; the combined revenue of the four stores was $830.6 million in 2009 (and just a little over $200 million the year before, the first year such stats were collected). Now, the market is projected to reach $8.3 billion in 2014.

The report confirms the suspicions of many who follow the smartphone and tablet games. Google's Android Market is ascendant, and will see the fastest growth this year, with revenue climbing 295% to $425 million in 2011. It will easily oust RIM's BlackBerry App World from the number-two spot, at which point RIM's store can duke it out with Nokia's Ovi Store for the dubious title of king of the off-brand app store.

Meanwhile, despite Google's rise, Apple will maintain a strong grip on its leading position. It's expected to make $2.91 billion in revenue in 2011, up 63% from last year. Though its market share is projected to erode somewhat, it will still remain the largest player even in 2014, retaining 60% of that share by then.

[Via BGR]

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[Image: Flickr user Claudio Gennari]

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