Mobile application trends for 2012: the top ten applications

Market researcher Gartner has pinpointed the top ten consumer mobile applications consumers will be using and downloading in the year 2012.

The most popularly used applications will include those designed to facilitate mobile money transfers, location-based services and mobile search said Gartner in its November 18 report.

In the past, consumers purchased mobile phones based on the built-in features that came standard with the handset. With the arrival of smartphone operating systems capable of running third-party applications, consumers were freed from the phone maker's confines and were able to customize their devices with powerful applications tailored to their own needs.

Future mobile trends point to a widening of this segment, with third-party applications breaking into the mainstream mobile market and even breaking through to many lower-priced handsets.

"Consumer mobile applications and services are no longer the prerogative of mobile carriers," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. "The increasing consumer interest in smartphones, the participation of internet players in the mobile space, and the emergence of application stores and cross-industry services are reducing the dominance of mobile carriers. Each player will influence how the application is delivered and experienced by consumers, who ultimately vote with their attention and spending power."

Mobile phone makers, inspired by the success (and profitability) of Apple's App Store, have all eagerly jumped into the market, opening their own propriety application stores. Application developers too have embraced the market, resulting in the creation of hundreds of thousands of new application for mobile devices.

The wide availability of applications has given consumers free range on mobile customization, but research shows that many apps are being downloaded, used once or twice and then deleted from phones.

"We predict that most users will use no more than five mobile applications at a time and most future opportunities will come from niche market ‘killer applications'," reveals Shen.

Gartner predicts applications in the categories of mobile payments, location-based services, those that provide fast search results for users on the go and applications that facilitate mobile internet browsing will be among the top ten mobile applications for 2012.

Gartner's list of top ten consumer mobile applications for 2012:

1: Money Transfer
2: Location-Based Services
3: Mobile Search
4: Mobile Browsing
5: Mobile Health Monitoring
6: Mobile Payment
7: Near Field Communication Services
8: Mobile Advertising
9: Mobile Instant Messaging
10: Mobile Music

For more specific information about each mobile application category and to read the full report head to http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1230413.

 

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