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What Future Is Waiting for Mobile Apps?

The number of people who have mobile phones and use mobile apps continues to grow. In fact, 91% of adult population of our planet owns a phone. The prediction is that 10 billion Internet devices are supposed to be used in 2016. And over 50 billion connected devices by 2020, – as said the senior manager of Accenture Digital Philip Redman. As we can witness the mobile app industry develops instantly and tremendously to meet all demands of customers and to adopt new technologies. Mobile devices make businesses accessible more than ever. With a help of mobile web or mobile app, the business owner can expand sales, inform about discounts and reach the target audiences everywhere. But the questions is what to choose for business – mobile web or mobile app – and in what a way they differ?

Differences between Mobile Web and Mobile App

Mobile website is accessed by the browser (like Chrome for Android). It is designed for tablets and smartphones with smaller touch-screens. The user needs to type the URL or click to the website that redirects to the mobile version compatible with user’s device. The benefits of mobile web are:

  • Easy access for customers
  • Improved readability
  • Simple functionality
  • Mobile-friendly layout

Unlike the mobile web, the user needs to download Mobile app from the store and install it.

The benefits of mobile app are:

  • More presence on user’s device through installment
  • Push notifications
  • Single platform for payments and loyalty programs
  • Easier accessibility

Mobile web and mobile app are not the one thing but they offer the same features:

High accessibility: user can access any service by one-click calling from website or


Geo-location: GPS of user’s device can locate any business or service in the given area.

Social content sharing: users are able to share content from web or app among their followers and contribute to business profitability.

E-commerce: mobile stores can offer to use mobile carts and Buy Now capacities.

Mobile marketing: users can sign for any loyalty program or email marketing campaign and let businesses easily reach them.

Desktop Vs Mobile

According to eMarketer research, people spend more time on Mobile as compared to Desktop and the break tends to become bigger with every next year. These stats also show the future dynamics of where the market is going ( according to www.statista.com ) 


At the same time, the Flurryblog (http://blog.flurry.com) informs us about the latest trends in app usage. As we see from the Analytics, the main attention of customers is directed to games and social networks.

According to Flurry Analytics, 90% of all smartphone time is spent on mobile apps. Thus, applications dominate over the mobile web and percentage of their victory is constantly growing.

Statista gives us analytics of the most visited sites in U.S. As we see Google Sites and Facebook are the absolute winners.

The tricky question for business owners is – what to choose – mobile site or mobile app (native or hybrid)?

Let’s drop a look at advantages and disadvantages of both.

The figures speak for themselves, but here we have to choose between 4 different technical configurations: native app, the hybrid app, dedicated web app and generic web app.

Native app – coding language Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS. This application is fast, powerful and reliable but is tied to the definite platform. To target another platform you need to recode it using programming language. Besides, almost all games are native apps.

Hybrid app is a compromise between quality and price. The strong side here is cross-platform compatibility.

Dedicated app – is a mobile website designed for the definite platform (like LinkedIn web app was created for Android and iOS but not for other smartphones).

Generic mobile app – is also a mobile website but it works for every phone (example here is Wikipedia).

Our recommendation for your business: choose native if your app is mainly used offline, it offers better user experience. Choose hybrid if your app is used mainly to display online content.

Let’s have a look at the trends that are going to rule in 2016.

Mobile Commerce

According to Forrester Research, mobile commerce transactions are expected to reach $142 billion in 2016. The source “Internet Retailer’s”, published in 2016 Mobile 500, has counted that nowadays mobile commerce provides one-third of all sales in U.S. Taking into account this fact, online retailers are eager to capture the attention of their target audience by all means creating new strategies and making mobile commerce grow at rapid pace in 2016.

Video Streaming Apps

comScore informs about 100 million users who watch video online every day. Interesting fact here is that: on average, user spends 16 minutes on online ads per month and after this 64% of viewers buy product these ads offer. Cisco predicts that 69% of all Internet traffic will be spent on videos by 2017! The number of YouTube views impresses! Just imagine YouTube has 1 billion unique visitors per month and tons of people tend to join the channels every minute!

Connected Apps

IoT market is slated to exceed of 31.72 % at CAGR by 2019. Product and service suppliers of IoT expect to generate revenue up to $300 billion by 2020! Till the time comes, over five billion of users will connect 50 billion things and services…The numbers are tremendous!

Challenges for Mobile Industry in 2016

Innovations and gadgets play a leading role in the development of mobile industry and determine the likely trends of the future. The increasing popularity of Apple Watch, Android Wear, cloud technologies let us predict in what direction developers should grow in 2016.

5 Features That Will Influence Mobile App Studious in the Next 5 Years are:

Globalization: high competition and grow of international market will lead to lower rates per hour (according to ContractIQ searches).

Supply Vs Demand: the demand for startups and apps stays actual but the growing of international market of developers will affect the profit level.

Cross-Platform Development: new trends in the mobile industry appear and gain much popularity. Smartphone is no longer an absolute winner, smart homes, and apps for cars are also looking for their place in the sun.

Monetization: in-app purchases and signing up for different services will decrease the number of downloads of paid applications.

Tools of developers: free programming interfaces and software kits will let connecting high functionality of apps and price availability for businesses.


Mobile App Industry Revenue: 2015, 2016 and 2020 (billion dollars)


What applications are the most profitable?

The key features companies should take into account are monetization strategies and app trends of the future years. Let’s review the current statistics offered by Distimo concerning Google Play and Apple Store.

The most revenue-generating apps in the Apple App Store are games. Besides, they are free to download. The same situation is on the Google Play Store –the most popular are free games with in-app purchases.

Forbes has made rough calculation on how much app earns for the store. The results are following: $4000 – in the Apple Store and $1,125 in the Google Play. The numbers are taken on average, of course. But we have to note that these apps are free. So, the majority of revenue is generated from advertising on Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube.

Google Play downloads are expected to reach $166,4 billion by 2020.

iOS App Store is expected to double revenue as compared to 2015 and to reach $44,8 billion.

The projections from statistics include in-app purchases, paid downloads, subscriptions and not include profits from e-commerce and ads.

Finally, some interesting facts about app usage:

  • 2,8 hours –is the time spent daily by one user on mobile media.
  • 25 billions – revenue iOS generated on app downloads in 2015.
  • 50 billions – revenue Android generated on app downloads in 2015.
  • 29% of users choose Social Networking category.
  • 21% of U.S. followers choose Facebook among all other social networks.
  • 78% of people of our planet use smartphones.

Mobile app creation can really boost your business profitability. And if you decided to invest in your own mobile application, you have to know what types of apps are going to be the most lucrative in 2016.

Gartner predicts that 95% of downloads will belong to free apps as compared to 90% in 2015. If the app is free it does not means that business owner will not make money on it – profit will come from in-app purchases (for example, buying extra lives in games or subscription fee for music streaming without ads like in Pandora).

Apple is already going this path and its benefit of in-apps purchases counts 76% of all revenue (according to Distimo).

At the same time, game apps are designed for personal use. Statistic shows that enterprise apps are becoming the new trend in mobile industry. Companies are ready to spend more money on applications that can leverage their goods and services.

After long researches we may distinguish 3 types of apps that will become the most popular in the nearest future:

Wearable technologies: apps that track your mood, health, blood pressure, health of your pet, etc. The second step is the interaction of these apps between each other.

Mobile banking: more and more apps appear to make banking online easier. Now everyone can transfer money, check account and accomplish different operations using mobile apps. This type of apps is also developing fast.

Internet of Things (IoT): cloud-based applications that connect physical items with Internet. For example, you are driving your car and there is an iced bridge on your way. This data is transmitted by wireless internet to your device and your vehicle. Thus, your car evaluates the risks and becomes a smart car…We believe that this type of app is going to be “the next big thing”.

We hope that this article was informative and interesting for you. 

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