Apple has built a thriving economy for smartphone and tablet apps since its store launched in 2008

Apple‘s App Store celebrated its fifth birthday this week with some impressive milestones: 50bn app downloads and more than £6.6bn paid out to app developers so far.

Apps have been key to the rise of social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, too. More than 75% of Facebook’s 1.1bn active users are accessing it from mobile devices, while 60% of Twitter’s 140m active users do likewise.

Industry analyst ABI Research estimates that the mobile apps market will be worth £17.8bn globally this year, with iOS generating more than two thirds of those revenues, even though Android currently accounts for 75% of new smartphone sales.

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Image by ilamont.com.

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