Tablet app revenue to outpace smartphones by 2018

​Tablet apps remain on track to generate a whopping $8.8 billion in revenue in 2013, compared to the $16.4 billion projected for smartphone apps.

As ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen notes, of the combined $25 billion, 65% will originate from Apple’s iOS ecosystem, 27% from Google’s Android, and the remaining 8% from the other mobile platforms.

Indeed, as part of a main trend, tablet apps will steadily increase their share of the market over the coming years, to an extent that they will, in 2017, nearly match the smartphone application revenues and surpass them in 2018, when the combined revenue base is expected to reach a cool $92 billion.

“The dynamic is quite straightforward. The larger screen makes apps and content look and feel better, so there are more lucrative opportunities,” explained Markkanen.

“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 hasn’t even started yet at its earnest. The smartphones paved the way for them, but in the end we believe that it’s the tablets that will prove the more transformative device segment of the two.”

According to the analyst, 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.

“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 opportunity associated with them is undeniable, but at the same they can also bring about very significant social benefits,” he added.