Two new research reports suggest a lot of mobile dollars will be spent shortly, with ABI Research projecting some $27 billion in mobile app revenue by December. And Juniper Research projected a bit further and is anticipating $3.2 trillion in mobile transactions by 2017. Coincidentally, both reports were issued from the U.K.
ABI sees strong Apple domination continuing, at least as far as mobile purchases are concerned. "iOS continues to lead the way and the OS is projected to generate more than two-thirds of the revenues for smartphone and tablet apps in 2013," said senior analyst Josh Flood. "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."
The ABI numbers also saw an expected strong dominance of smartphone purchases compared with tablet purchases. "Thus far, app revenues generated from smartphones have significantly dwarfed app revenues from tablets. However, tablet revenues are quickly catching up and it is projected tablet app revenues will overtake smartphones by 2017," an ABI statement said. "The inclination for tablet users to pay more for apps than their smartphones because of the larger screen size and better user experience for gaming and reading are the primary drivers."
Juniper's study noted that bill payments via mobile may start to impact figures, if for no other reason than they tend to be much larger figures. Although true, it's not necessarily legit to label someone paying their phone bill or their mortgage on a smartphone as a mobile purchase. This gets into the distinction between mobile payments and mobile purchases. Either way, Juniper correctly argues the bill amounts will have an impact.
Although "there are far more transactions for digital goods, the majority of these are sub $2," said Juniper Research Principal Analyst Windsor Holden. "Compare that with an average mobile banking transaction, which is in excess of $70."
Juniper is projecting mobile commerce transactions to grow at an average rate of 19.8 percent year over year and that activity in the Far East and China will bring in the greatest amount of mobile commerce transactions.
For example, by the end of 2012 handset penetration in central Europe hit 119 percent and 125 percent in eastern Europe of the populations in 2012. Mobile penetration in the United States hit 89 percent of the population last year.
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