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Mobile Apps: Ten Years Later App Usage Grows Phenomenally but the Focus Now is on a Shrinking Number of Apps
It’s been ten years now since Apple announced the App Store as a place to stock up on applications for mobile devices. 2013 saw a record of one million apps being listed in Apple’s store. That’s a lot of apps. It hasn’t stopped there and over the last four years, the use of mobile apps has only continued to grow.
But it is beginning to look like the growth of the mobile app market is plateauing.
Walt Mossberg wrote about the decline in mobile apps, saying that “the good ones are too hard to find. And the novelty and joy of suddenly having access to millions of bits of interesting software has worn off for me and for many other people. While Apple now claims two million apps in the App Store, as long as two years ago analysts were reporting that most smartphone users didn’t download even a single app in an average month.”
In 2015, Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, predicted a slowing of mobile app growth, saying that “after eight years of searching for, downloading and using smartphone apps, users are maturing in their usage behaviors. However, we may see those patterns change in the future as users integrate apps more deeply into their daily lives.”
A report from Flurry finds that mobile apps are still an active market, growing 11 percent in 2016, but the growth has been slowing. It’s not that we aren’t using those apps, it’s more that we’re using a fewer number of them. “Time in mobile apps” actually increased 69 percent in 2016.