Apple's supposed 99% share of market questioned

Research firm clarifies $4.2bn app market claims

Research firm Gartner has moved to clarify the methods it used to estimate the value of the mobile app market at $4.2 billion for 2009.

We reported on the raw numbers earlier this week and pointed to some subsequent number crunching over at Ars Technica that gave Apple a controversially high 99.4 per cent share of the market.

That led to a lot of discussion and some quite public questioning of the research.

This morning, however, Gartner’s Stephanie Baghdassarian contacted PCR’s sister site, Mobile Entertainment, with a clarification of its research and methodology.

She said: "This is not Gartner’s report claiming that 99.4 per cent of mobile apps downloads happened on an Apple device in 2009. This data point is the result of calculations by a third party [Ars Technica – ed].

"Our ‘Dataquest Insight: Application Stores; The Revenue Opportunity Beyond the Hype’ report (then followed by a press release) only looks at applications downloaded from application stores, i.e. a store front that can be accessed directly from a mobile device without having to go onto the Web and entering a Web address.

"Our revenue forecast is only about the revenue generated by applications (meaning we have ignored any kind of content such as ringtones).

"Then our numbers are annual downloads and revenue, whereas most of the numbers in the industry tend to be cumulative. Apple’s reported 3bn downloads as of 5-Jan, is inclusive of downloads that took place in the period from launch to 31-Dec-08, and from 1 to 5-Jan-10, which are not included in our numbers.

"Finally, our numbers were put together in November and published to our client in December, which means they were estimate of 2009 year-end, rather than hard data."

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