Report: Apple to Capture 76% of 2011 Mobile App Revenue

Apple will capture 76% of all mobile app revenues in 2011, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli. The research firm is projecting Apple’s App Store revenues for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps to balloon to US$2.91 billion in calendar 2011, up 63.4% from the $1.78 billion reported for 2010. All told, IHS iSuppli projects total mobile app sales of $3.8 billion, “with the Apple App Store projected to eat up a gargantuan three-quarters share of the total market.”

The company is looking at four major online app markets for its figures, including Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Marketplace, Nokia’s Ovi Store, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World.

If mobile apps sales hit the $3.8 billion level, it would represent a 77.7% increase from the year before, when total revenues were $2.1 billion. Total revenues for 2009 were just $830.6 million, with 2008 being the first year iSuppli tracked this data. The App Store was effectively the only game in town in 2008, with some $206 million in revenue.

iSuppli Chart

Source: IHS Screen Digest Research, May 2011

As you can see in the chart above, IHS iSuppli is projecting that mobile apps will continue to grow at a brisk clip. The firm said it expects $5.6 billion in revenue in 2012, $6.9 billion in 2013, and $8.3 billion in 2014. The company said that other online stores could come in and affect the market in future years, including a viable presence by Microsoft if its Windows Phone 7 platform finds traction.

Driving that growth will be Apple’s App Store, according to the report. “Given that Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad are the market leaders in their field,” iSuppli wrote, “the company’s App Store is expected to take in 76 percent of revenue this year and retain 60 percent market share by 2014, despite efforts by the other stores to match Apple’s ability to monetize its users.”

The firm added, “Apple also will lead the way with revenue gained from in-app purchases—or additional purchases made within a paid application, such as bonus game levels—which will serve as a key growth driver for revenue up to 2014.”

Google will also put in nice effort for second place. iSuppli said that Google’s Android Marketplace sales should rise 295.4% to hit the $425 million market in 2011. Coming in third will be RIM’s BlackBerry App World with $279 million. Nokia’s Ovi Store will see $201 million in revenue.

“Both the RIM and Nokia app stores will continue over the next few years to be relegated to the two lower positions as Apple and Google remain the dominant players,” the company wrote.

All these dollars mean huge app download numbers, too, especially with the vast majority of downloads continuing to be free and ad-supported apps. iSuppli projects that total app downloads will almost double (growing faster than revenues) to 18.1 billion, compared to 9.5 billion in 2010.