The so-called app economy could become more of an iPad economy, as the number of tablet users grows. That’s the takeaway from a report by Research2guidance, which looked at what the worldwide growth in mobile apps could mean for consumers and developers.
Owners of the iPad and other tablets, such as those running on Google’s Android, now make up 8.6 percent of consumers using mobile apps, according to the consulting firm. That’s likely to expand as the number of tablet users is forecast to grow more than 150 percent by 2013, Research2guidance said.
Developers are already churning out more games and productivity tools designed with the tablets in mind. In 2011, the number of apps in the Apple App Store for iPad rose 180 percent, the report said. In March of this year, Apple said its App Store had more than 550,000 apps for its mobile devices, with more than 170,000 native iPad apps available.
“As tablet users become a larger and larger app downloading segment, their app behavior and preferences will have an increasing influence on the app market — illustrated already in the growth in the number of apps and stores devoted to them,” Research2guidance said.
The report also pointed out the growing adoption of tablets, especially the iPad, in the workplace. As the number of companies that rely on these devices grows, so too will the number of apps being developed for enterprise tablet users.
In a separate report today, IDC said total worldwide tablet shipments more than doubled to 17.4 million units in the first quarter, from 7.9 million units a year earlier. That followed a record 28.2 million units in the fourth quarter, lifted by holiday sales. The iPad increased its dominating share of the tablet market to 68 percent, the research firm said.