Inside the App Economy

October 23, 2009

These are such early days, no one knows exactly how big the app economy is. Companies make money from selling apps, from ads within apps, and from selling digital goods used in apps. Add it up and analysts figure it’s at least a $1 billion market today, headed for $4 billion by 2012. Not bad for a brand-new business…

The game makers compete for users across all sorts of technology platforms. The big targets are Facebook, with more than 300 million members, and Apple’s App Store, with more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch users…

The rapid growth and sharp rivalries have drawn comparisons to the early days of Web pioneers such as (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY). One significant difference is that the apps business has virtually no barriers to entry, meaning it is hard for any company to maintain a lead. Today there are thousands of small developers who crank out apps that don’t make a dime.


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