For anyone who still has doubts about the market power of mobile apps, here’s your wake-up call: Market research company Forrester Research is predicting that revenue generated from the buying and downloading of apps should reach $38 billion by 2015. By comparison, that figure was about $2.2 billion in 2010.
Some reasons for the huge uptick are the increased prevalence of tablets (like the iPad, which has had a meteoric rise), 3G and 4G connections (which allow mobile apps to provide better experiences), and developers’ use of things like smartphone GPS and geolocation, which has been nicely captured by Foursquare and its ilk. Hmm — it seems to us that there was a time when that sort of information was seen as predatory (It knows where I am right now? What a privacy violation!). But if consumers are deciding with their dollars, and all signs point to the fact that they will continue to do so in increasing numbers, the use of a phone’s location information has been resoundingly approved.
This potentially huge increase only points back to the fact that the inexorable rise of apps will probably force regular online retail to play along. Conclusion to take away: If a thing can be bought and sold, it seems masochistic at best and deadly at worst for a retailer not to give it a mobile platform.