Seven months into the year and the app industry has never been stronger – global app spending climbed nearly 25% to reach upward of $64.9 billion, and mobile habits picked up over the past year are set to stay.
In terms of performance, Gaming remains the undisputed leader in both consumer spend and downloads but among the non-gaming apps, a number of categories are enjoying their fair share in the spotlight.
While categories such as Business, Health, Social and Entertainment continue to enjoy the momentum generated last year, we are also beginning to see renewed interest in sectors like Travel and Navigation, Dating, and Productivity as vaccination rollouts in different countries pick up tractions.
However, the mobile landscape has always been as dynamic as they come – the dust has yet to settle on the pandemic front and consumer behaviour will shift with every passing month. So while the first half of the year had the industry by the edge of our seat for the habits and trends that will form part of the new industry normal, there are now clear signals of what is to come and developers looking to stay competitive will need to start acting on them.
Alternative is the name of the game
Mobile, and apps in particular, are now a cornerstone of consumers’ daily lives and businesses who do not have a presence on a platform will be the ones who will struggle the most, regardless of vertical. Furthermore, users are becoming increasingly discerning about the products and services they use, and are more likely to explore competitor apps to satisfy needs for services that best suit them. This means that developers need to look at participation in alternative platforms – such as various app marketplaces – is becoming critical for discoverability of smaller companies in particular. Bringing their brands to different app storefronts means high chances of building additional touch points with new and existing customers to their businesses.
In light of this, developers will need to identify tools and processes that can streamline their approach to the maintainability of their multi-platform presence. Between delivering their own app brand and participating in multiple app storefronts, the different processes add up to a maintenance headache. The more a developer can re-use their infrastructure and processes across multiple platforms to deliver a common feature-set, the easier they will be able to scale and the more resilient their business will become.
Connectivity set to take centre stage
The popularity and adoption of connected devices have surged over the years and consumers’ expectations are shifting in tandem with this trend. Mobile users are now looking towards a new level of seamless connectivity between their devices and favour apps that are compatible with their ecosystem of choice. This bias is particularly prevalent within the Health vertical where apps belonging to connected devices such as Peloton and Fitbit lead their competitors in terms of consumer spend.
The potential for developers integrated into an ecosystem is almost limitless – the compatibility means that the app is able to fully leverage the hardware capabilities to unlock more extensive features that their competitors would not have access to.
Furthermore, the rollout of 5G technology can further propel the popularity of apps integrated within the ecosystem through its vastly enhanced latency and bandwidth. These capabilities empower greater and better connectivity between devices and apps integrated with the ecosystem are able to contribute to a significantly smarter and more seamless environment. This advantage will then help these apps pull ahead of their competitors in the long run.
Navigating the future with symbiotic collaboration
Given the growing need to maintain presence across alternative channels, publishers need to look towards platforms that can offer them not only a quality and sizable user base, but also strategic growth opportunities. This means focusing on the big picture and prioritise setting up shop at alternative app marketplaces.
With the growing distrust between developers and traditional app distribution platforms, the industry should expect to see an increasing number of bigger gaming companies attempting to set up their own storefronts. However, these channels are likely to be equally problematic as there may be some trust and fairness implications due to the same entity being both the distributor and the developer. Therefore, developers should instead consider existing app distribution platforms such as Huawei’s AppGallery which can offer not only extensive technical and operational support, but also a well-established ecosystem and userbase of over 540 million active users globally.
AppGallery offers developers a wide suite of tools, capabilities, and resources, empowering them to achieve the best return on investment in the shortest period possible. To achieve this, the platform offers every developer a full spectrum of developer support from technical integration to overseas market expansion, facilitating exponential growth and app innovation.
Furthermore, developers onboarding the platform will gain access to the powerful HMS (Huawei Mobile Service) Core, a rich array of open device and cloud capabilities. It allows developers to introduce unique ground-breaking technology to their apps and integrate them into the all-encompassing HMS ecosystem at the same time.
Between the comprehensive level of developer support and unwavering commitment to partner success, AppGallery is the ideal platform for businesses looking to navigate the dynamic second half of 2021 and the future.
If you are interested in learning more about Huawei and its solution, visit the Huawei developer website here: https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/