Mobile is growing. No doubt about it. The breakout company of the decade is mobile-only (Uber), and swaths of companies / departments are emerging to help build and monetize mobile (eg. Kahuna, Facebook, Twitter).
But how quickly is it actually growing?
Inspecting the App Store for last month (July ‘15), there were 56,665 new apps released on iOS. With 1,485,569 apps available prior, July represented a 3.95% growth of the App Store. In comparison, there are roughly 16m websites created every month, and with roughly 1 billion websites, web is growing ~1.6% monthly. The App Store is growing 2.4x the rate of web, and that’s not even accounting for Google Play. The App Store also has more stringent criteria to release an app, unlike the Wild West of the web, meaning there are more meaningful / valuable mobile apps being created per capita than web.
What does this mean? There are three main parties affected: the end users, the app makers, and the app infrastructure.
For the end user, it’s great! It means an even greater selection of apps. Apps have changed the way we live, from how we communicate to how we eat and exercise. This is really the tip of the iceberg, as people around the world are coming online for the first time through mobile, and new developments are being released for the mobile ecosystem, like deep linking (apps can talk to each other!) and deep searching. Bigger waves are coming as well; just as the wave of B2B companies followed B2C on web, B2B apps are now emerging to change the way we do business(eg. Docusign, Doximity).
For the app makers, it’s mixed. On one hand, this means there are more and more apps competing for user attention. Even apps that don’t do the same thing still compete for a users’ limited mindshare. On the other hand though, the ceiling of mobile is growing. According to KPCB’s internet trends, there were 1.56B smartphone users in 2013. In 2014, that increased to 3.79B. That’s a whopping 143% increase. In addition, people are spending more and more time on their phones. So, even though more apps means more competition, the pie is growing bigger so that there are more and more users to engage.
For app infrastructure, it’s a gold rush. All the technologies that emerged to help you build and monetize mobile are now emerging to help do the same on mobile. That includes hosting, analytics, databases, payments, video, CDNs, and more. To date, MightySignal has indexed 6,500 of these mobile infrastructure companies, and that number is growing quickly.
All in all, it’s a great time for mobile, no matter what bucket you’re in. Each drives the other, as better infrastructure enables better apps meaning better experiences for users. On the flip-side, more users coming online through mobile means more opportunity for app makers which pulls up the infrastructure market. At MightySignal, we’ll be tracking it all and providing the most up to date analysis!
At MightySignal, we’re building a complete index of the mobile app economy, from what apps exist and what technologies they’re built on, to which ones are most active.