Gartner on Apple’s Share of Mobile App Sales

Chris Foresman, on a new report from Gartner on mobile app sales:

Earlier this month, Apple announced that sales had topped 3 billion; that means iPhone users downloaded 2.5 billion apps in 2009 alone. Gartner’s figures show another 16 million apps that could come from other platforms’ recently opened app stores, giving Apple at least 99.4 percent of all mobile apps sold for the year.

I think Foresman is wrong here. Apple didn’t announce 3 billion App Store sales; they announced 3 billion downloads, including free apps. Apple has never (to my knowledge) publicly revealed the breakdown between free and paid app downloads from the App Store.

However, if Gartner is correct that all other platforms combined accounted for only 16 million mobile app sales last year, then Apple’s share of the market is astonishingly high. It’s not 99.4 percent, as Foresman indicates, but still crazy-ass high.

Update: Via email, Chris Foresman informs me that Gartner has clarified for him that their figures are indeed estimates of all apps downloaded for any platform in 2009, free or paid. In other words, Gartner is using the word “sale” to mean “download”, probably because that appeals to their market. So Gartner really is claiming that Apple has over 99 percent of the mobile app market. Wow.

Monday, 18 January 2010