No big money in mobile apps: Gartner

The mobile app market is booming, but app developers are going to struggle to catch a whiff of profit as their products drown in a sea of competition, according to predictions from Gartner.

Headlining its mobile predictions for the year, Gartner has noted that the mobile app market is in a “hyperactive” state, with millions of developers using open-source tools to build apps, offering them for free to consumers through various channels.

According to Gartner, however, as more and more consumers turn to friends, social networks and ads to discover new mobile apps, the bad news for app developers is that less than 0.01% of these applications will be considered a “financial success” for the developers.

“The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many,” said Ken Dulaney, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

“However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognise this may find profits elusive.”

According to Gartner’s data, 90% of paid apps are downloaded less that 500 times a day, and make less than $1,250 a day.

“This is only going to get worse in the future when there will be even greater competition, especially in successful markets,” Dulaney said.

According to Gartner, the world of mobile is also set to change in the workplace over the next 2 years, as companies will move to clamp down on the security threats “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies have on IT.

This will result in the rapid deployment of mobile device management (MDM) systems, Gartner predicts; however, as BYOD and MDM programmes proliferate in the workplace, employees are expected to push back against organisations gaining access to their personal information.

“Employees are becoming sensitive to giving IT organisations access to personal devices, so they are demanding solutions that isolate personal content from business content and restrict the ability of the IT organisation to access or change personal content and applications.”

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No big money in mobile apps: Gartner