ABI: App downloads to hit 56b for smartphones in 2013, 14b for tablets; Android and iOS leading respectively

ABI: App downloads to hit 56b for smartphones in 2013, 14b for tablets; Android and iOS leading respectively ...

App downloads are naturally expected to keep growing this year as consumers continue to buy smartphones and tablets like hotcakes. Mobile users will make 56 billion smartphone app downloads and 14 billion tablet apps in 2013, with Android leading the former and iOS leading the latter.

These latest estimates come from ABI Research, which is clearly taking current trends and extrapolating them for the remainder of the year. It’s important to emphasize that these are projections and can thus change significantly if the market experiences a significant disruption.

Here is what ABI expects as the smartphone app download breakdown in 2013:

  • Google’s Android: 58 percent.
  • Apple’s iOS: 33 percent.
  • Microsoft’s Windows Phone: just under 4 percent.
  • BlackBerry: 3 percent.

Given that Android is currently growing faster than iOS worldwide and Windows Phone offers more apps than BlackBerry at the moment, these are safe guesses. ABI doesn’t consider Firefox OS worth mentioning.

Here is what ABI expects as the tablet app download breakdown in 2013:

  • Apple’s iPad: 75 percent.
  • Google’s Android excluding Kindle Fire: 17 percent.
  • Amazon’s tablets: 4 percent.
  • Microsoft’s Windows tablets: 2 percent.

Again, ABI is dismissing the BlackBerry PlayBook and other small tablet players.

ABI also predicts a growing number of smartphone-focused developers will adopt an Android-first strategy within the year due to the platform’s “vast installed base and the generally improved conditions for app building.” This is something that has been widely trumpeted for a while now but has yet to surface given Google’s fragmentation problem.

ABI Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen argues that Google’s bigger problem is transitioning its momentum from the smartphone market to the tablet market, where Apple continues to dominate. In this area, he considers Amazon helpful: “We would argue that in this context Google will actually benefit from the efforts by Amazon, since the presence of Kindle Fire adds a lot of critical ‘code mass’ to Android’s proposition as a platform for tablet applications. It is worth remembering that Android’s so-called fragmentation problem isn’t only a problem, but that it has a certain upside as well.”

Again, this is assuming nothing changes in the market. Amazon and Google are bitter rivals and anything could happen to further sour their relationship.

See also – ABI Research: Apple iPhone market share to peak at 22% in 2013, but will remain flat through 2018 and ABI: Nearly 200m tablets have shipped worldwide since 2009, 22% of US owners spend over $50 monthly

Image credit: Toshifumi Kitamura/Getty Images

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