Mobile Technologies Global Markets to Double by 2021

December 23, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., Dec 23, 2016 –The Smartphone has become the dominant mobile device, and with tablets and virtual reality systems growing in number and variety, the marketplace for mobile applications has never been richer. BCC Research reveals in its new report that the global markets for mobile technologies should almost double in five years to reach $24.0 billion in 2021.

This report analyzes mobile application markets for three key operating systems: Android, iOS and Windows Phone. These systems comprise almost all (if not all) of the smartphones in the market today. There are other operating systems such as Firefox, an open source competitor, and declining Symbian bases, but the two-tier structures dominated by Android and iOS in the majority and Windows in the minority are the main environments for applications.

The global market for mobile applications is expected to increase from $12.2 billion in 2016 to nearly $24.0 billion in 2021, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4%.  The Android segment should reach nearly $6 billion and $12.0 billion in 2016 and 2021, growing at a five-year CAGR of 14.8%. The iOS market segment is expected to grow from nearly $5.8 billion in 2016 to $11.0 billion, at a five-year CAGR of 13.9%.

The mobile industry is expanding rapidly beyond the smartphone to realize a world of mobile connections, including 7.6 billion connections and 4.7 billion subscribers in 2016. While measuring the market by platform still matters to capture the majority of the application revenue, the growing ecosystem plays that leverage the Internet of Things (smart cars, smart meters, industrial devices, healthcare devices, wearables, etc.) are opening up new fields of opportunity for developers.

On a platform basis, Google’s open source Android is overtaking rivals with a 14.8% CAGR in application revenue. The market is quickly becoming a two-platform proposition with Apple’s iOS forming the other half of the market. But Apple’s growth has slowed in the face of competition from device players supporting Android, led by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and ZTE.

Apple’s traction remains dependent on the innovation that it can introduce in its devices, while the pace for Android is driven both by innovation from multiple suppliers, including Google (most recently Google itself through the Pixel phones embedding artificial intelligence software and made by HTC) and multiple form factors and business models for market segments.

"Key drivers include increased device functionality ranging from screen displays to camera resolution. Falling hardware prices and the availability of software developer entrepreneurs also are moving the market," says BCC Research analyst Michael Sullivan. "Possible market obstacles include the device hardware limitations and hyper-competition among application providers."

Mobile Technologies: Global Markets (IFT071B) analyzes mobile applications and segmentation by category. The report also examines key software development platforms, pricing strategies, and business models. Global market drivers and trends, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at

Mobile Technologies: Global Markets( IFT071B )
Publish Date: Jan 2017    

Data and analysis extracted from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying BCC Research LLC as the source and publisher. For media inquiries, email or visit to request access to our library of market research.