Less than a year old, Apple’s online App Store is on its way to becoming a billion-dollar marketplace for iPhone applications that often sell for no more than a few dollars, according to Mobclix, a start-up that offers developers analytical data garnered from mobile devices.
The App Store, which allows independent software writers to sell applications for the iPhone, is growing 38 percent a month and adding 200 new apps a day, says Santa Clara-based Mobclix. The company expects the online store to be a billion-dollar marketplace within two years.
Already, more than 31,000 apps are listed in the store — 29 percent of which are free — substantially more than the official 25,000 apps Apple executives recently reported, Mobclix said. There have been 800 million downloads from the store, up from the 500 million Apple reported earlier this year.
“You have a new validation of how big of an economy this could be,” said Mobclix co-founderVishal Gurbuxani. “Mobile apps is not a new concept. But having a centralized distribution is new. Simplicity is the key — that’s where Apple is shining.”
The market is new and Apple will face competition from other major mobile vendors, including Microsoft, Research In Motion and Google, all of whom are building online app stores, as well, he added.
Mobclix reports that 60 percent of online buzz about App Store apps regard those that are free. This indicates that free apps supported by advertising could be a better business in some cases than charging a fee, said Gurbuxani, whose start-up is one of a handful popping up in the new iPhone ecosystem offering services to developers.
“It’s the behavior and intent of users that basically leads to actionable business insights,” he said. “It’s business intelligence you can act upon.”
For instance, Mobclix can provide data that shows 20 to 30 percent of users who download an application use it every day.
“It shows how many daily users they have,” he said. “It’s a way you can monetize your apps.”
Another service the company has developed is called Link Exchange, a viral ad model in which clients can advertise their apps on each others applications.