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Feature phone apps market to almost double to $1 billion

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9 August 2011 | Published by Ovum

Press Release

Feature phone apps market to almost double to $1 billion

The mobile apps market for feature phones will almost double by 2016, hitting revenues of $1 billion, after being spurred on by the success of apps in the smartphone sector, according to Ovum.

In a new report*, the independent telecoms analyst claims that while the feature phone apps market has not taken off in the same way as its smartphone counterpart,  it is beginning to take strides forward.

It states that improvements which have made both developing and publishing feature phone apps easier, the larger size of the market and reduced competition mean that the sector has the potential to be more lucrative for some developers.

Nick Dillon, Ovum analyst and author of the report, commented: “While feature phone users vastly outnumber smartphone users, the apps market hasn’t taken off in the same way. This is largely because it has lacked the distribution channels to enable widespread adoption.

“However, inspired by the success of apps in the smartphone market, the options have improved drastically, with many larger handset manufacturers, operators and third parties now offering improved distribution programmes for feature phones.

“While addressing this market is not as easy as the smartphone market, it has the potential to be more lucrative for some developers. The larger size of the market combined with higher barriers to entry means that there is less competition than in the smartphone market.”

According to Ovum, the number of feature phones worldwide will reach 2.3 billion in 2016, when they will continue to dominate the market, with a 63 per cent share, compared to 37 per cent for smartphones.

The report finds that despite its age, JavaME software is the best option for developing feature phone apps, but Nokia web widgets and Opera Mini widgets also enable simple applications using web technologies. In addition, options for web development will be further improved by the introduction of HTML5-capable browsers, which Ovum anticipates will become widespread on feature phones in the next 12–18 months. 

–ENDS—

NOTES TO EDITORS

*Opportunities for Mobile Development in the Mass Market

To arrange an interview or for further details regarding this release please contact  Kelly Livesey in the Ovum press office on +44 (0)161 238 4081, or email kelly.livesey@ovum.com.

ABOUT OVUM

Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is part of the Informa Group.   

 

 

 

 

- Ends -

Notes to editors
Further Information

More information is available from the Datamonitor Group Media Team. Please contact +44 1483 825 664 or kirstin.stocker@informa.com.

About Ovum

Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support.

About Datamonitor

Datamonitor is a leading provider of online database and analysis services for key industry sectors. We help our clients, 5000 of the world's leading companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and in-depth forecasts for seven industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods, Energy, Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Technology, Transport and Logistics.