A new report
by Canalys estimates that the top four app stores served up a total of 13.4 billion apps for the first quarter in 2013. App downloads across Apple's App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry World grew 11 percent over the previous quarter. Revenue for developers also grew by 9 percent with app revenue reaching $2.2 billion in gross returns.
"Apps have had a huge impact on the way consumers use mobile devices, what they value, and what they expect from smart phones and tablets. They are now central to how consumers engage with content and connected services, and how they personalize their devices around the app-enabled features that are important to them," said Adam Daum, Canalys Chief Analyst. 'This is a multi-billion-dollar growth market, with more and more consumers around the world now comfortable and confident in finding apps, downloading them and making in-app purchases, on a growing addressable base of smart phones and tablets."
Of the top four players, Apple and Google remain well in the lead when it comes to users making app downloads or in-app purchases through their devices. Apple iOS developers also continued to enjoy the lion's share of total app revenue accounting for 74 percent, although Google Play had the most app downloads with Apple not far behind. BlackBerry and Microsoft both remain in a battle to establish a third major platform with BlackBerry 10 apps in BlackBerry World passing the 100,000 mark since launching with 70,000 available to customers.