Developers Banking on Smartphone Applications
With so many different mobile operating systems to choose from--iPhone, Palm Pre, Andriod, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile--developers have a growing user base which means a lot of potential revenue in the coming years.
Growth in spending for mobile applications has continued to rise, with $4.2 billion spent last year, increasing to Gartner's projection of $29.5 billion in 2013. Apple's iPad, which was recently released, will play a large role in application development, with many developers expected to jump on the opportunity to be able to develop apps which will work on both the iPhone and the iPad.
Apple recently announced that 3 billion applications have been downloaded via the App Store, which currently boasts over 100,000 apps. Google's Android Market, by comparison, offers 20,000 apps, with BlackBerry App World trailing at 4,000 and Palm Pre only offering around 1000 apps.
Amazon's Kindle has also brought developers out of the woodwork with the release of the Kindle Software Developer's Kit (SDK), and seems to be looking towards a product that will be support 3rd party apps, as well as the use of Wifi (it is currently limited to using 3G).
Some analysts feel that Android and other smartphone applications will eventually catch up to the iPhone, as the application approval process for Apple is strict and often time consuming. Android uses an open source programming language and requires no approval process for applications, making it a potential opportunity for many developers who would otherwise not enter the mobile marketplace.