Tablets will make up 35 percent of the $16.4 billion that smartphone apps are expected to earn this year, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. By 2018, however, they are expected to dominate as cheaper tablets become available and people start to use them regularly for mobile browsing. Tablet growth is projected to steadily increase, as is the app market itself, reaching revenues of $92 billion by 2018.
“The dynamic is quite straightforward,” says senior analyst Aapo Markkanen. “The larger screen makes apps and content look and feel better, so there are more lucrative opportunities. One might think that the bigger installed base of smartphones would compensate for the disparity, but that notion fails to take into account the arrival of low-cost tablets, which hasn’t even started yet at its earnest. The smartphones paved the way for them, but in the end we believe that it’s the tablets that will prove the more transformative device segment of the two.”
Apple currently dominates the app market at a 65 percent share, compared to 27 percent for Android and 8 percent from other mobile app platforms. Don’t expect that to remain the case, however. Apple’s share of the smartphone market is slipping as cheaper but effective Android phones gain prominence in the market.
Though ABI did not take any sides on Apple or Android beyond those statistics, it has previously predicted that Android will have 800 million smartphones in active use compared to Apple’s 300 million by the end of the year. Plus, Android users consume twice as much data on their phones, according to Forbes.