A just-released report by research firm IDC only underlines the possibilities. It predicts that mobile app downloads will increase from 10.9 billion this year to 76.9 billion downloads in 2014-and that by 2014 mobile apps will generate $35 billion in revenue globally. That's a growth rate of 60 percent a year in revenue.
ReadWrite Mobile compares that with other research firms' numbers: Gartner said at the beginning of the year that mobile apps would be a $7 billion business in 2010. That includes $6.2 billion spent in app stores plus $0.6 billion generated from in-app ads. IDC's numbers put this year's numbers at $4.9 billion. And independent mobile app store GetJar forecast that the mobile app marketplace would reach $17.5 billion by 2012.
Now back to IDC, which talked about two trends: Lighter, mobile apps popping up in more devices and the "appification" of everything. Betanews' Joe Wilcox says, "God help us if the word makes the Oxford English Dictionary by end of 2011." He quotes IDC's Scott Ellison, saying:
Mobile app developers will 'appify' just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds. The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector.
IT Business Edge blogger Don Tennant has written that now is the time to specialize in mobile. I'll add this: What he said. Surely the reported labor shortage in this area will only grow worse and salaries will rise accordingly.