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Huge potential for lower-end apps

The market for applications running on lower-end ‘feature phones’ could double in the next five years, hitting $1 billion by 2016, and app developers should get on board, according to a new report.


Industry analysts Ovum say while the market for feature phone apps has not taken off in the same way as its smartphone counterpart, there is the potential for huge growth in the future.


According to Ovum analyst and report author Nick Dillon, "While feature phone users vastly outnumber smartphone users, the apps market hasn’t taken off in the same way.


"This is largely because it has lacked the distribution channels to enable widespread adoption.”


However, manufacturers are starting to offer improved distribution programmes, Dillon says, in a move that spells opportunity for developers.


"While addressing this market is not as easy as the smartphone market, it has the potential to be more lucrative for some developers.”


Ovum’s figures suggest the number of feature phones worldwide will reach 2.3 billion in 2016. This is forecast to represent a 63% share of the market, compared with 37% smartphones.  

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