The latest figures from research2guidance note that Apple’s App Store market share hit 59% at the end of Q1 2011.
81% all free and paid app downloads in 2008 were via the Apple App Store. As competition increased in 2009 and 2010, with the number of app stores increasing by over 200% in two years, Apple’s share of the market fell to 57% at the end of 2010.
However, the first quarter of 2011 has seen Apple’s market share increasing to 59%, thanks in part to the iPad.
In a blog post, research2guidance co-founder Ralf-Gordon Jahns says the next two years are critical for Apple.
“If Apple manages to slow down its market share loss over the next two years it will be difficult for other players to overtake Apple for a long time”, he says. He notes that increasing smartphone penetration doesn’t mean a corresponding increase in app usage, adding that the ‘lock-in effect’ of committing to a particular platform means Apple will keep its early-adopting heavy downloaders for a long time.