Ignore App Bubble Talk

A marketer looking to create an app must confront an essential question: Is it worth it when HTML5 is gaining traction? In short, yes.

While it’s true that HTML5-based applications are quickly growing in favor, it is clear that mobile application development will continue to grow in consumer acceptance at a rapid pace. Research released by Singapore-based ABI Research back in early April suggests that by 2016, 44 billion mobile apps will be downloaded across all major mobile platforms. While ABI does not break the statistic down to a granular level, examining free apps when compared to paid apps, the number obviously speaks volumes about the growing app ecosystem.
We are not in an app bubble. What we’re experiencing now is tangible growth, not a bubble on the verge of bursting. According to a Gartner survey, the smartphone market will only continue to grow — sales will reach 468 million units by the end of 2011. Accordingly, revenue will grow significantly as well. Research released by Colorado-based IHS Research says that by 2014, total download revenue across all major smartphone platforms will reach $8.3 billion – nearly four times the download revenue realized in 2010.
Marketers may be afraid to move forward with native app development because they’re worried about the next big thing creeping up over the horizon or concerned about the app economy being a bubble nearing its breaking point. As it stands, though, native apps appear to be poised to maintain the lead over HTML5 and the app economy is very real. With this in mind, marketers should not be afraid to invest in a mobile application – the time to move is now.
Adam Boyden is president of Conduit, a network of Web and mobile app developers. Follow him on Twitter @adamboyden.
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