Chances are you have a smartphone and on that smartphone, you use apps to make your life easier. When you buy an app or make in-app purchases with free apps, you are contributing to one of the fastest growing businesses in America - the app economy.
We've covered the app economy in the past with a study that claimed the app economy has created 500,000 jobs since 2007. The study covered jobs that were created with app development across all major smartphones and the Facebook platform.
The previous study, however, didn't really focus on the breakdown of revenue between the major platforms and the number of downloads these apps have seen. A new infographic from Frugal Dad fills us in.
Some of the key takeaways include a look at the very first smartphone that was released in 1993. The IBM Simon Personal Communicator was a simple smartphone with a touchscreen that featured basic apps like a notepad, email and games. The major barrier for entry was its price at $900.
As the infographic puts it, "The iPhone changes everything." It launched in 2007 with the app store launching a year later in 2008. Looking at its growth, we see a massive spike from its launch to July of 2011 where app store downloads reached 15 million. That's nothing though as the Apple app store recently hit 25 billion downloads on March 3. That number includes apps downloaded through the iPad as well, but it's impressive nonetheless.
The major competitor to Apple is, of course, Android. Its app store opened in 2008 as well with its main advantage being that apps could be downloaded onto a number of devices from many different manufacturers as long as they adhere to Google's Android operating system.
It is worth pointing out that even though iPhone apps are only available on its respective platform, it possesses a much larger market share. This has been seen recently with Mika Mobile dropping its support for Android due to its inability to generate revenue for its games.
Job creation, as previously mentioned, is a major benefit of the rising app economy. Some of the major players creating jobs that focus on app development include Zynga, Amazon, Google and Facebook.
With the massive success of games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, it's not surprising to see games at the top of the list for most popular apps. Some of the other popular apps include weather, shopping, movies and music.
All this information points to an ever growing new market based entirely around apps. It is shaking up the usual way we do business with the world and how we interact with it. Unless something terrible happens, like a massive solar storm that knocks out our smartphones, the app economy and the smartphones that power it is going to keep growing.