App Market Sees Healthy Growth During Q1 2013, 11% Rise Over Q4 2012

Given our increasing reliance on mobile, it comes as little surprise to learn that the app market continues to grow with each quarter, with the results from the Q1 period that just passed being the most impressive to date. According to research firm Canalys, a total of 13.4 billion apps were downloaded during the three-month period, an 11% increase over Q4 2012. With total revenue of $2.2 billion, it's clear that the vast majority of downloaded apps are free, void of in-app purchases (those are counted into the $2.2 billion).

Those 13.4 billion apps encompass the four leading app stores; Google Play Store, Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World and Microsoft Windows Phone Store. While Apple leads the pack in the revenue department (exact numbers are not provided), Google leads with the raw number of downloads; 51% in total. Apple is apparently not too far behind, with RIM's and Microsoft's respective app stores sitting far in the distance.

While it'd be easy to discredit either RIM or Microsoft for their paltry results, Canalys strongly believes they shouldn't be ignored. Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd notes, "Each of these four stores represents a different market proposition for developers, and remains the primary outlet to reach users on the platforms they serve." That's reasonable, but he also goes on to state that both of these stores need to assure that more fresh, innovative content hits their catalogs - obviously, ports are going to hold little interest for most people.

On the BlackBerry front, the BB 10 store has reached a total of 100,000 apps, up from 70,000 at launch. Given its total marketshare of downloads, this is actually quite impressive. Google, by comparison, houses around 700,000 apps, while Apple unsurprisingly leads with about 800,000. Microsoft, as of this past January, noted 150,000 apps available through its Windows Phone Store.

How many apps are you responsible for downloading?