When Apple first launched the iPhone App Store in 2008, no one expected it to be as successful as it is today. It gave rise to the largest mobile application ecosystem ever, consisting of over 350,000 apps and games and provided developers with an easy way to publish and market their apps. It has created more millionaires than any other platform.
In the process, many competitors have copied the application store model, but none of them have seen the kind of success that the App Store saw. The Android Market, the second biggest application store with over 120,000 apps, is still way behind the App Store, though it is growing at a faster rate now.
The others, like the Nokia Ovi Store, Blackberry App World, Windows Marketplace are lagging far behind, in terms of number of apps and users.
iSuppli, a tech research company has released some statistics about the revenue figures of the major mobile app stores. Apple’s App Store is undoubtedly leading the pack. The Android Market, is much smaller in terms of revenue share than I expected, mostly because the main source of income for Android developers is through ads on free apps, not by selling paid apps.
The App Store had revenues of $1.782 billion in 2010, which is 82.7% of the total app store revenues. The Blackberry App World came second, with $165 million in revenue or 7.7% of the total. The Ovi Store came third with $105 million (4.9%) while the Android Market came fourth with $102 million (4.7%) in revenue. The Android Market has grown over 861.5% year on year, while the App Store has grown by 131.9%. Even the Blackberry App World and the Ovi Store have registered growth of 360.3% and 719.4% respectively.