31% of smartphone owners in the U.K., don't give a hoot about apps32
Even more depressing for developers, those who do visit the app stores are downloading fewer games and apps. The average number of apps installed each month in the U.K., has declined from 2.32 to 1.82. Can things get any worse? You bet they can. A whopping 9 out of 10 U.K. smartphone owners do not spend money on apps, or on any other content. But some of the numbers are skewed because of the increasing number of smartphone owners in their 50's, who are less inclined to use their smartphone for much more than making and taking calls, and for sending and receiving text messages.
Deloitte's Paul Lee, head of research for technology, media and telecommunications for the accounting firm, made quite an insightful comment. "It's pretty easy to create an app but it's very hard to get it downloaded," said Lee. Independent developers are concerned that it is just a small number of firms that are making the majority of the profits in the business. Despite this out of balance financial structure, in Europe 670,000 jobs will be created by the "app economy" this year, up 26% from 2013.
The future of the app industry is still quite positive in the region, according to research commissioned by Google. The study shows that by 2025, app development will be a £30 billion ($49.9 billion USD) industry in the U.K. The question is whether the majority of the profits will still be controlled by just a few developers. Hopefully by then, the business will have broadened out, with profits trickling down to smaller developers.