App, app and away!


App or apps, small software applications that make mobile devices such as tablets, phablets, and smartphones fun and easy to use. Also, one of the reasons why the PC industry is on the decline.

In a recent study conducted by global industry research group Gartner, the mobile app ecosystem will continue to see tremendous growth, particularly in 2013 as it predicts a 60 percent rise in downloads compared to last year’s numbers. And if the figures are correct, then theyíll be more than a hundred billion apps that will be downloaded this year alone. Yes, 100 billion!

Although most apps available for download are free of charge or what in the computer industry are usually called “freeware,” paid apps are also gaining steam in the app ecosystem. Of course, we love anything for free, but often times paying for something —in this case, a full-version of an app —will bring you all the software’s full potential and all the features these apps are intended to do, including after-sales support. The freeware versions do work, and many people are satisfied with them. But often, these are limited to games, puzzle, and other trivial software stuff. If you need the “real” deal, you need to pay for it. But whatís even better with these apps, users can actually try them out first before paying in full.

Most of these apps are cheap. They start at 99 US cents. And the most expensive I’ve seen was around $49. for a business productivity app. In Gartner’s report, paid apps will be installed in mobile devices 9 billion times. If most of the apps downloaded were at 99 cents a pop, that’s a lot of money for the app software market.

And speaking of app market, the research firm also said that 60 percent of the market share goes to free apps with 80 percent of these apps coming from both the Apple’s App Store for the Apple mobile iDevices and Google Play for the Android-based OS gadgets. Apple and Google have already reported over 50 billion app downloads from their respective app stores or around 800 apps being installed on their mobile devices every second.

The data provided also showed that a majority of the app market is held by Android with three in four smartphones around the world using Google’s mobile OS, while Apple’s iOS has a 13.2-percent. Oh by the way, Amazonís app store, BlackBerry World, and the Microsoft Windows Phone Store also have their own app ecosystem, but not as big as the former two.

The declining PC market
Apps may be good news for the overall mobile computing market dominated by tech giants like Apple, Google, Samsung and even social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter. But what about the whole

PC industry? Particularly personal computers like notebook and desktop computers? Well, sad to say itís not a good time for them.

For a couple years now, the PC market has been struggling to keep up with the latest trend in mobile computing. But people are simply not buying PCs anymore.

In a recent report by IDC, another global industry research group, it said that in 2013, tablets would overtake PC shipment worldwide by the last quarter of the year as more and more consumers go for devices that are more portable. And the same story will continue to do so in the coming years, as previous data have shown a steady decline in PC market share, while mobile devices—to include tablets, phablets, and smartphones gain tremendous traction in sales.

Dominant computer chipmakers Intel and AMD are already feeling the brunt as the two tech companies have failed to keep pace with the ongoing trend. Both are still stuck in their PC roadmap of a decade ago. Intel is now trying hard to enter the mobile chip market but has to yet present something viable that could actually work or even sell in the real mobile world. The same issue with AMD, the perennial Number Two chipmaker. With similar predicaments hounding both Intel and AMD, plus the continuing popularity of mobile apps for on-the-go devices, are enough reasons to pull the two tech giant’s respective market shares down.


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