02:35 - Source: CNN
Apps becoming $25 billion business

Story highlights

The global app industry will grow to $25 billion in 2013, Gartner Inc. projects

Comes as sales of smartphones are projected to eclipse feature phones for the first time

Last month, China became the top market for Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets

Smartphone users in the U.S. now spend more than two hours a day using apps

CNN —  

In 2007, at the dawn of the app market, few would have predicted the industry would soon become a billion dollar business. But thanks to the popularity of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and other smartphone platforms, the app business is booming.

Mobile phone apps are expected to generate $25 billion in worldwide sales in 2013, up 62% from last year, according to new research from Gartner Inc. The study was first reported by the Wall Street Journal Monday.

The exponential growth mirrors that of smartphones – for the first time this year, more smartphones are forecast to be shipped globally than feature phones, according to a report released Monday by IDC, the technology market research firm.

IDC projects that vendors will ship 919 million smartphones this year – 50.1% of total mobile phone shipments. “Much of the world’s smartphone shipments were a direct result of demand in mature economies such as the U.S.,” IDC wrote. “The balance of smartphone demand is gradually shifting, however, to emerging markets where smartphone user bases are still relatively small and economic prospects are considerably higher.”