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Apps Across America

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The mobile app industry is a dynamic and fast growing marketplace. It has grown to $20 billion in only four years and is projected to top $100 billion by 2015.1 While the emergence of mobile apps has revolutionized the software industry, they are also having a profound impact on our national economy. With smartphones and tablets providing new platforms for software developers, an entire new class of software entrepreneurs has emerged. App makers have transitioned from writing applications for enterprise platforms to selling products directly to consumers.

This growth in startups and new businesses hasalso led to significant job creation during an otherwise troubled economic period. University of Maryland research identified 182,744 jobs created by the Facebook platform while separate research by ACT and TechNet concluded that the app economy has created between 460,000 and 600,000 jobs. Since the publication of these studies, further evidence has emerged suggesting the widespread impact of apps is even greater than our earlier research revealed.

Despite its rapid development, however, the app marketplace has not fully matured. Companies continue to experiment with business models and platforms without having established an industry standard. App makers continue to expand into new markets bringing disruptive innovation to static industries. Since ACT undertook its first study of the app marketplace fourteen months ago, the growth of leading app companies, the rise of in-app purchasing, and the progress of foreign markets have further transformed the app market landscape.

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