Online App StoresCompany J’son & Partners Consulting has presented the results of market research considering applications and content stores in 2012 and additionally published the forecasts of its (stores) development up to 2015.

Income of mobile application stores in 2012 was $15 billion; it is 1.5 times more compared to the last year. For five years, the market for mobile applications has increased several times and nowadays it is one of the fastest growing segments of the information technology industry.

Apple’s App store and Google Play are the absolute leaders in the number of application downloads in 2012 – 21 billion and 15 billion downloads respectively. However, Apple’s App Store with $ 9 billion takes more than half of the market, it is about 60% of the total market volume. Google Play has a bit less  number of app downloads compared to the App Store but income is more than 4 times less in terms of profitability. At the same time, the BlackBerry corporation, opened his own store BlackBerry World six months later  Google Play launched, in 2012 BlackBerry World earned not much less  than $ 1 billion despite the fact that the number of downloads in BlackBerry World is almost 8 times less than in Google Play. Major players in the market of app and content stores, of course, are the proprietary services, that were developed by the manufacturers of smart phones and / or software for them.

Thus, at the moment, there are 6 major market stores:

– App Store – by Apple;
– Google Play – by Google
– Blackberry World – by BlackBerry;
– Nokia Store – by Nokia;
– Samsung Apps – by Samsung;
– Windows Phone Store – by Microsoft.

In addition to the branded app stores there are a large number of services from the third-party developers in the market, and their number is increasing every year. Most of the stores are multiplatform and sell applications on virtually all existing operating systems: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Java, Palm OS, Symbian, Windows Mobile. Also, these services are characterized by providing to the customers the possibility to pay for the purchases by not only credit card  but also through other payments ways such as the operator billing, PayPal, and by the virtual internet cards.

Such stores usually update the number of apps quite quickly and can have up to several thousands apps, and sometimes tens of thousands of apps, due to the desire of developers to expand their audience. At some point, the developer of Android applications, for example, feels himself “closely” as a part of a single store Google Play, especially when taking into account the fact that the number of applications in the largest stores is approaching one million. That is why the developer usually is not able to bring the app to the customer or it is very hard to realize. And then an independent developer starts to think about other ways to bring the app to users, and he finds a huge number of alternative services from third-party companies.

Here are some successful examples of third-party app stores in the market:

– GetJar- by GetJar;
– Cydia Store – by SaurikIT;
– Opera Mobile Store – by Opera Software;
– Amazon Appstore – by

J’son & Partners Consulting forecasts that the worldwide market for app stores in 2015 in terms of value will be about $ 36 billion, surpassing the 2012 indicator by almost 2.5 times.