VisionMobile has identified business and productivity apps as a growth area for developers, forecasting that the market for such apps will more than double in the next three years.
In a recent report of findings from VisionMobile's 2013 survey of over 6000 app developers, Andreas Pappas explains that while enterprises are increasingly bringing their business processes, marketing and sales operations to mobile platform, creating a demand for apps and services,many app developers, with their sights set on the consumer app markets (such as games and lifestyle apps) are:
"missing out on under-the-radar opportunities in the business and productivity market"
VisionMobile estimates that more than $28 billion was spent on apps by businesses and professional users in 2013 and forecasts that the business and productivity market will reach $58 billion by 2016, providing developers with a good opportunity for increasing their revenues.
Pappas argues that over the next few years:
more and more businesses will be well served by off-the-shelf solutions that can be directly acquired through app-stores or direct sales channels. This trend is consistent with the proliferation of post-PC devices in the workplace and the adoption of bring-your-own policies.
The report predicts that app-store sales will benefit from the shift in distribution model and that commissioned development willl remain the most lucrative revenue model for app developers:
For developers who want to earn money from their apps business and productivity apps appear to be a much better prospect than consumer apps. VisionMobile introduced the idea of the app poverty line with its 2012 Developer Economics Report and in its State of the Developer Nation report revealed that in 2013 a large proportion of mobile developers fell below it. However, this is a clear advantage in developing business apps with only 1 in 3 of devs being under the poverty line (compared to almost a half of those developing consumer apps) and 16% earning over $500,000 per month (compared to only 6% for consumer app developers).
The winning combination appears to be iOS business apps.
At least 60% of revenues in the business and productivity market were generated on iOS in 2013, while Android and HTML5 each accounted for around 17% of the market.
While Pappas thinks that Android may pick up pace as it is the most popular platform in terms of installed base, he concludes
if you are developing app in the business and productivity, it makes sense to prioritise iOS which generates most of the revenues in this market.