While it's hard to believe, it's true: the U.S. wireless industry is only 28 years old. In the last 28 years, we've seen some amazing innovations and the possibilities are endless. To demonstrate the tremendous innovations in the industry, we're going to highlight some of it in blog posts over the next few days.
Today's focus is on applications, or apps.
Even though apps existed prior to 2008, they were not as well-known or used as they are today. Typically, these early stores offered ringtones, wallpaper and a few games for consumers to download on their wireless devices.
Fast forward and now look at the evolution of the marketplace:
- In 2008, Apple's iTune and Android Market application stores opened.
- As of December 2009, there were more than 100,000 apps available.
- As of May 2010, there were more than 240,000 apps on 7 different operating systems from 7 different stores.
- As of May 2011, there were more than 1.186 million apps on more than 11 different operating systems from 27 different non-carrier stores.
So how much of an impact are applications having in the wireless ecosystem?
- Nielsen says that the average smartphone has 22 apps; feature phone has 10 apps.
- Pew Internet says that 1 in 4 American adults actively use apps. 1/3 of apps on parents phones are downloaded by children.
- App revenue (according to Gartner):
- 2010: $5.2 billion
- 2011: $15.1 billion
- 2015: $57 billion
And we're not done! According to ABI Research, North America is poised to lead in downloading smartphone apps by 2011, surpassing the current leader Europe and still leading Asia-Pacific. In fact, Juniper says mobile app downloads will increase to 25 billion by 2015, from only 2.6 billion in 2009.
But what CTIA blog post would be complete without a mention about spectrum? With the explosion in consumer usage of apps for everything from mHealth, education, transportation and other industries, this is another reason why we need more spectrum. To be able to continue to meet consumers' demands to use these innovative apps that are improving the way we live and work, the U.S. wireless industry must get more spectrum.