With an ever-increasing number of smartphone users downloading mobile apps, the global mobile applications market is anticipated to exhibit a positive CAGR of 16.2% during the period between 2014 and 2020. The number of mobile apps downloaded globally is expected to reach 268,692 mn by 2017, thereby increasing the valuation of the global mobile applications market to US$54.89 bn by 2020. The most popular mobile apps are entertainment and gaming apps. These apps accounted for more than 40% of the overall market in 2013. With the surging demand for entertainment and gaming apps, key market players such as Apple Inc., Google, Blackberry, Microsoft, and others are focussing on developing apps with advanced features.
Microsoft Acquires Educational Mobile App MinecraftEdu
This week, Microsoft announced that it has acquired MinecraftEdu, a blockbuster game app designed for students in schools. The app has a strong following and is already used over 7,000 classrooms across 40 countries. MinecraftEdu is a modified version of Minecraft, created by a start-up firm TeacherGaming. The app helps students to construct anything they want out of block-shaped materials. The creative possibilities of the app can serve as a supplemental learning tool for students. Though Microsoft has acquired MinecraftEdu to target the student community, most of Minecraft’s appeal is related to entertainment. The top paid app on Apple and Google mobile app stores is the best-selling PC game of all time. With this acquisition, Microsoft aims to boost its struggling smartphone business.
Nintendo Goes Mobile with ‘Miitomo’, Apple Raises Prices of its Mobile Apps
Nintendo, the world’s largest video game company, is entering into the mobile space. The Japanese gaming giant is expected to launch its first smartphone game, Miitomo, in March this year. However, experts are pointing out that Miitomo is actually not a game. Rather, it is an app to expand communication between Mii character users. The fact that Nintendo is releasing its first official app for mobile reflects the growing demand for mobile game applications amid users.
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Apple Inc. regularly revises the prices of its apps to keep international rates in line with prices in the U.S. Recently, the technology giant has increased the prices of its App Store apps across seven countries namely Israel, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Russia, and Singapore. Developers are of the opinion that the price hike would make consumers more demanding and expect higher standards of development. However, users are not expected to be affected largely as most of them use free apps. For gaming apps, users rely on in-app purchases rather than paying high price upfront. Further, with well-developed gaming apps, users do not hesitate to pay a little more. On the other hand, if a game is not good enough, consumers do not buy it even if the price is reduced to half. This shows that the mobile game applications market has a potential for robust growth in the coming years with users unfazed about paying a price for well-made applications.