For half a decade now apps have been part of the common vernacular. Over that time, the number of available apps has grown from 250,000 apps in early 2010 to 3 million apps by the end of 2014. As a novelty, apps were initially perceived as a collectable, something to amass as a status symbol, but the continuing trend is for apps to assume a more utilitarian role. The new era of apps may be less overtly visible, but more integral to daily functions. As apps become more deeply entwined with all facets of consumers’ lives, the need for an integral app strategy will also be elevated across businesses in all industries.

The app economy and the traditional economy are overlapping to a greater extent. Apps are being integrated into many traditional
activities ranging from grocery shopping to calling a cab, a trend that is rapidly spilling revenue from almost every industry in the higher
revenue traditional economy into the app economy.

Utility driven apps propel growth in downloads
As the app market matures, app relevance, particularly in an economic sense, will largely be tied to longevity and purpose. The
GSMA has forecasted growth in the installed base of smartphone users to be 16% in 2015, a slowing from 27% growth in 2014. As
smartphone shipments slow, causing the related total number of app downloads begin to slow, developers will need to remain vigilant in creating high-value, utility-driven apps that will continue to inspire downloads. Smartphone shipment growth is anticipated to be declining according to IDC over the next several years, with the research firm anticipating a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% from 2014-2018.

Mobile is a cross vertical strategy
Implementation differs, but all enterprise verticals are being impacted by mobile. From business processes, to customer engagement to revenue generation, mobile has become a factor across corporate divisions. For gaming and media, and to a lesser extent transportation, financial services, retail, and fitness, mobile is mainstream, while in others, such as healthcare, construction, and automotive, it is only now developing. Developer opportunities abound in both emerging and mature industries.