Revenue and downloads of mobile apps soared in the first quarter of 2013, but some vendors' app stores need to do more to capture the market's imagination, according to Canalys.
The analyst claimed that in this year's Q1, app downloads from the four leading stores worldwide – Apple's App Store, Google Play, Microsoft's Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry World – shot up 11 per cent sequentially to 13.4 billion.
Over the same period, the four vendors' combined app revenue reached $2.2bn (£1.44bn) (before revenue sharing is taken into account), following a nine per cent surge in paid-for apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions, when compared to 2012's final quarter.
Apple's App Store dominated the market in terms of revenue, taking a 74 per cent share of sales, while Google Play took the majority of the market – 51 per cent – in terms of download numbers, closely trailed by its nearest rival Apple.
"Apple's App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world," said senior analyst Tom Shepherd.
"In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored," he said, adding that Microsoft needs to do a better job of encouraging even more developers to create apps for its store, as well as improve the marketing and communication around them.
"The strength of app ecosystems will increasingly help to determine winners and losers in the smart-device industry," he concluded.
Strongest growth in revenue and downloads came from emerging markets such as South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia. The western Europe region still managed an eight per cent and 10 per cent hike in its sequential revenue and download figures respectively.
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