The number of smartphone and tablet app users is set to soar with new research predicting a figure of 830 million by 2016.
An ABI Research study¸ Mobile Enterprise Applications for Smartphones and Media Tablets, forecasts users of enterprise business-to-employee (B2E) and business to customer (B2C) smartphone and media tablet mobile applications will to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 90 per cent to more than 830 million active users by 2016.
These numbers include B2E apps such as line-of-business apps and B2C branded company apps. In both cases, enterprises are leveraging their vast stores of corporate data to make employees more efficient and to foster greater customer intimacy.
Enterprise smartphone and media tablet adoption is providing the foundation for enterprise app development and deployment. But, according to ABI Research enterprise practice director, Dan Shey, “Mobile suppliers are providing the critical enablers boosting app adoption.”
There are two important supply-side drivers. Firstly, the supplier market offering mobile application platforms has exploded. With these platforms, an app can be written once and deployed across multiple devices in the highly fragmented smartphone and tablet supplier market. Many platforms also provide management and system integration capabilities, and are highly cost-effective.
Secondly, many mobile application and app platform providers now offer cloud services as a component of the application or app platform. This reduces the investment for businesses, opening up the market for smaller organisations.
The majority of users are B2C customers, with a large share from branded banking, airline, and shopping apps. But Shey said active B2C customers could be a much larger group than they are.
“There is no reason why most businesses could not offer B2C smartphone or tablet apps to their customers, regardless of business size. The challenge for mobile suppliers will be to promote and facilitate application development for all businesses with the opportunity to generate greater app service and management revenues.”