ABI: Mobile app storefronts have distributed 81 billion apps so far

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Mobile app storefronts have distributed a cumulative total of 81 billion apps for smartphones and tablets as of end-September, with 89 percent of those apps being downloaded from native storefronts that come with the device's operating system, according to the latest research from ABI Research.

"The current status quo is based on storefronts that the operating system vendors provide as part of the OS experience, and there is no evidence that this would change in the future," said Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst with ABI.

"A year ago, it still looked like that, for example, mobile operators could find a viable business case in the curation of Android apps, but that opportunity evaporated once Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) got its storefront act together. Today, it makes sense for operators to distribute apps only under special circumstances, such as the ones that we're seeing in China," he added.

Markkanen thinks it is unlikely that smaller niche app storefronts will develop for consumers because of the expense.

"Running a user-friendly app distribution channel is expensive. Besides the adequate hosting and billing systems, it takes quite a lot of human labor, since successful app discovery requires some form of editorial approach. The opportunity for smaller storefronts built around selected categories is therefore limited," he added.

Exceptions to this are business-to-business app storefronts and consumer apps that the big name storefronts do not want to offer, such as ones offering adult content.

For more:
- check out ABI's release

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