Disney just let go of 200 employees , most of which had been dedicated to the company's console gaming business, in an effort to put more focus on the mobile market and it's easy to see why. According to market research firm Gartner , mobile app store revenue is only forecast to grow 1,000 percent to $58 billion between 2010 and 2014.
That's a lot of pieces of eight, more than a quarter of which will come in 2011. By the end of this year, Gartner figures app store revenue to add up to $15 billion on 17.7 billion downloads, a 117 percent increase from 8.2 billion downloads in 2010.
"Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "We strongly believe there is a sizable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a Web-based app will be able to deliver. Native apps will survive the Web enhancements only when they will provide a more personal and richer experience to the 'vanilla' experience that a Web-based app will deliver."
We don't doubt Gartner's prediction. The granddaddy of them all -- Apple's App Store -- just topped 10 billion downloads with a catalog of more than 350,000 apps, and the Android Market is growing at a fast clip as well. Throw in increasingly powerful smartphones and the emerging tablet market, and it's easy to envision the kind of Skrilla Gartner's crystal ball reveals.