The global market for preloaded software on mobile phones is likely to more than double from 2008 to 2014, according to new figures from iSuppli Corp. It says this market will expand to $7.7 billion (£5.25 billion) in 2014, up from $3.3 billion in 2008. At the same time, worldwide shipments of smartphones are set to rise from 161.1 million units in 2008 to 497.4 million in 2014.
Preloaded software - applications that are already installed in mobile phones when they're bought by consumers – is paid for by the equipment manufacturer, which either buys it from a third party or develops it in-house.
iSuppli says there are three major categories of preloaded application:
- native applications that come with the mobile platform (such as the address book and media player),
- carriers’ branded applications (which will vary depending on the device and the network services available), and
- third-party applications (often including browsers and navigation apps).
As cloud computing increases in popularity, anti-theft concerns are expected to see manufacturers preloading backup software. However, iSuppli says growth in preloaded games will probably be minimal because operators and manufacturers are directing this type of sale to app stores.