Media tablet apps will generate $8.8 billion in revenue in 2013, compared to the $16.4 billion expected from smartphone apps, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.
Of the combined $25 billion applications revenue, 65 percent will come from Apple’s iOS ecosystem, 27 percent from Google’s Android, and the remaining 8 percent from the other mobile device platforms.
As part of a main trend, media tablet apps will steadily increase their share of the market over the coming years.
Tablets will, in 2017, nearly match the smartphone application revenues and surpass them by 2018 -- when the combined revenue base for both device types will reach $92 billion.
"The dynamic is quite straightforward," says Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI Research. "The larger screen makes apps and content look and feel better, so there are more lucrative opportunities."
One might think that the bigger installed base of smartphones would compensate for the disparity, but that notion fails to take into account the arrival of low-cost tablets -- which has barely started to move into the mainstream of consumer adoption.
The smartphones paved the way for them, but in the end ABI believes that it's the tablets that will prove the more transformative device segment of the two.
Perhaps a major part in the allure of tablets is how they will help address the demographic groups that have so far been under-served by the market.
Markkanen concludes, "The really big deal about tablets is how they will help to finally bring the computing age to, for instance, children and the elderly."
The business and economic opportunity associated with increased tablet adoption is undeniable. Besides, this phenomenon can also bring about very significant social benefits.