2011 was marked by more innovations and developments in the mobile space than ever before. With healthy growth rates recorded in 2011 and optimistic predictions for the next few years, 2012 looks like the year of even more interesting mobile developments. Many factors contributed to the global growth of mobile application (app) adoption in 2011. Among them are the advancement of network technologies, reduction of mobile


Data usage costs, increased usage of smartphones, restructuring of the revenue-sharing patterns, and a significantly increased full or partial subsidy of apps via mobile advertising options. According to the Mobile Stats and Facts 2011, of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones, around 1.1 billion were smartphones.

In Q1 2011, the global mobile phone market ballooned with a 19.8% growth rate year-over-year due to a significant rise in smartphone shipments. IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker estimated that vendors shipped 371.8 million units in Q1 2011 compared to 310.5 million in Q1 2010. In North America, the mobile phone market was kept front and center by Apple’s iPhone and HTC Thunderbolt, while in Western Europe, it was ruled mainly by new devices from HTC, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

On the global scale, Nokia took the leading position in shipment volumes and market share (although the latter dropped from 34.7% to 29.2 % year-over-year), followed by Samsung. Apple was #4 on IDC’s List of Top 5 Mobile Vendors.

The breaking news in 2011 was the launch of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft to regain ground lost to the iPhone and Android-based devices. The new strategy means Symbian and MeeGo, Nokia’s existing smartphone operating systems, will be gradually sidelined. Symbian is currently transformed into a “franchise platform,” while “MeeGo will emphasize longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices,” according to the company statement. However, Nokia still expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices.

Regarding the overall mobile usage patterns of 2011, 61% of people reported using their mobile devices to play games, 50% – to do a web search, 49% – to access social media, 36% – to read the news, and 33% – for general entertainment purposes.


In 2011, over one-third of Facebook’s 600 million user base used Facebook mobile apps, 50% of Twitter’s 165 million used Twitter Mobile, and over 200 million YouTube views occurred on mobile devices daily. Overall, 30% of all smartphone owners accessed their social media accounts via mobile browsers in 2011.

In 2011, many large brands started blending mobile technologies with their business goals to increase their presence in at least one of the top app stores. This has opened new horizons for booming mobile app markets and created new venues for further market development.

On the other hand, most of these brands did not aim to monetize their apps and only used them to add to their brand equity. Last year, the Apple App Store remained the overall leader and the “store of choice” for brands and users. On the other hand, the Android Market has gained substantial ground, with 50% of the global brands preferring to publish their apps during 2011. The newly introduced Amazon App Store has gained 14% of the brand mobile apps’ publications in only three months.

According to Markets & Markets, a US-based research firm, the world mobile app market was estimated at $6.8 billion in 2011. It is expected to grow steadily to reach $25 billion over the next four years, with the Apple App Store accounting for 20.5% of the total revenues.

According to iSuppli, an IHS-owned market research firm, the collective revenues from Apple, Google, Nokia, and Blackberry app stores grew around 78% in 2011 from 2009 and are anticipated to reach $8.3 billion in 2014. In 2011, Apple held the major mobile app market share in revenue. However, in terms of mobile app downloads, Android outpaced Apple, according to the data from ABI research. Eight Trends That Ruled The Global Mobile Market In 2011