Apple’s App Store next year will reach the 300,000 mark, tripling the number of applications available for the iPhone and iPod touch, according to one analyst’s preview of 2010. The continued growth of the App Store is at the leading-edge of what analyst firm IDC sees as a ‘platform shift’ to mobile devices and away from the PC.
“We predict at least 300,000 iPhone applications by the end of 2010,” wrote analyst Frank Gens. Many of the new apps will come from businesses as consumers and companies pick the iPhone for their most commonly-used applications.
Gens described the introduction of an Apple tablet next year as a “no brainer.”
“There’s enormous appeal in sizing up the iPhone/Touch for a variety of applications and activities that people already use those devices for but would jump at the chance to have a larger screen,” Gens wrote. The ability to read books, magazine and newspapers on such a device would also “take a big bite from the Kindle,” according to the analyst.
But don’t expect either Google’s Android or Apple’s long-time nemesis Microsoft to be flat-footed about the changes. The IDC analyst expects Android to be a “potent competitor” to the iPhone with 75,000 apps. (However, Android developers could encounter difficulty creating applications that work on many different cell phones.) Likewise, Microsoft will also try to play catch-up when the Cupertino, Calif. company unveils its much-anticipated iPad tablet.
The analyst calls 2010 a “watershed year” for mobile devices that have until now remained overshadowed by conventional PCs. Mobile devices, such as the iPhone, will “no longer be viewed as strictly subservient to PCs but as primary client platforms for developers and users alike,” predicts Gens.
He said mobile devices will surpass the PC in the number accessing the Internet, developer following, applications and users. Still, IDC predicts 300 million PC will sell in 2010. However, the analyst warns companies that don’t adapt to the increasing importance of mobile devices may become extinct.