Over the last four years, since the 2007 debut of the iPhone, the number of available apps has soared. Forrester Research just issued a report on the size and scope of the app market, concluding that the revenue created by the sale and downloading of apps to smart phones and tablets will hit $38 billion by 2015.
Apple, as the leader in the space, has the store with the most apps: more than 350,000 and counting. But Android, which has zoomed past RIM Blackberry in terms of U.S. install base, is on the fast track to catch up: the Android Market hosts 200,000 apps and, according to Distimo, which calls itself “a free crossplatform app store monitoring tool for developers,” has 57 percent free apps compared with 28 percent in the Apple App Store.
The emphasis of Forrester Research’s report was on the promise of business opportunities in the future. In addition to the $38 billion estimate, the report said that corporations are on track to spend up to $17 billion creating apps for their products, including working with the third-party companies that create and manage the apps. The report estimates that “combined revenues from mobile applications, services and business management will reach $54.6 billion a year by 2015.”