As more consumers adopt smartphones, tablets, and other wirelessly-connected devices the market for applications continues to surge. The wireless app market appeared out of nowhere in 2007 and has been a bright spot to a largely dim economic recovery. Earlier this year, TechNet released a study titled, "Where the Jobs Are: The App Economy." That study concluded that the app economy has created some 466,000 jobs in the U.S. since that time.
Now the Application Developers Alliance has released another important new study shedding light on this new source of economic vitality and innovation: "The Growing App Market: Adoption, Attitudes & Usage." (A handy 2-page graphic summary is also available.)
According to "The Growing App Market" study, "[n]early one half of the U.S. online population has downloaded an app. This is an astonishing figure. What's more, many of those users expressed intent to use apps more in the future than they do now. Likewise, a third of the number of persons identified as online non-users of apps actually plan to start using apps within the next half-year.
A key takeaway from these positive economic indicators, for public policy purposes, is the pressing need to further incentive investment and jobs in the app market. Our economy can surely benefit from further unleashing the growth potential of the app market.
The use of apps relying on wireless connections, in particular, can be promoted by policies to increase the supply of infrastructure inputs that wireless broadband networks depend on. For starters, more spectrum needs to be made available for next-generation wireless networks. Likewise, regulatory barriers to cell site construction need to be reduced or eliminated, particularly at the state and local level.