Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007 just as the Global Recession was about to begin. While central bankers and national leaders struggled with a deep financial crisis and stagnation, the fervent demand for iPhones and the wave of smartphones that followed provided a rare force for growth.
The smartphone also triggered a new era for job creation around the world. Apple opened the App Store in 2008, followed by Android Market (now Google Play) and other app stores. This unexpected “side-effect” of the smartphone quickly took on a life of its own, creating a whole new class of iOS and Android developers who were writing mobile applications that could run on smartphones anywhere.
It’s not an exaggeration to speak of a global App Economy, with an army of app developers writing mobile applications for billions of users. For businesses, apps have become the essential front door for their customers, providing access to everything from shopping to customer service to banking services to entertainment to information to essential health knowledge.
What’s more, the App Economy still has room to grow. Internet of Things (IoT) mobile connections are estimated to reach 4.1 billion by 2024, increasing at an annual growth rate of 27 percent.2 Consumers and businesses are increasingly interfacing with physical objects and processes through their smartphones and tablets via the IoT. Companies and individuals are utilizing apps to control everyday items and processes such as smart homes, e-commerce shopping, manufacturing analytics, smart. This report updates our 2017 paper, “The Rise of the Australian App Economy”.