GetJar is one of the largest distributors of Android apps outside of the Android Market. With more than 2 billion downloads and 75 million users on its GetJar Gold platform, GetJar has become the largest independent, cross-platform app store in the US. GetJar’s “open” model allows for third-party developers to distribute apps more freely on all of the major mobile platforms. GetJar isn’t tied to any specific phone or carrier, and this has been a major contributor to its success in the face of app store competition from Google, Apple, Microsoft and others. In addition, the GetJar Gold program provides consumers with virtual currency and rewards services, which give developers the opportunity to monetize their apps.
We spoke with GetJar’s CEO Chris Dury to get his perspectives on mobile trends in the upcoming year and where GetJar is headed in 2013. Chris Dury is CEO for GetJar and advises early-stage mobile startups. Prior to GetJar, Chris helped grow scanR, a mobile productivity service, from inception to millions of users. He also co-founded OneFone, a mobile virtual network operator.
1. What do you predict will be the biggest change(s) in the app market for 2013?
2013 is the break-out year for Android. The number of Android devices will reach nearly 1 billion, hitting that milestone in about 5 years since the commercial availability of the first phone. This growth is truly remarkable as it’s unmatched by any technology ever created. For developers, this means that Android will have a much bigger audience than iOS. In addition, the average app revenue per user will increase significantly since the majority of users will have the superior experience of Android 4.0 or higher and Google will increase operator billing coverage beyond the few markets today. Together, Android’s growth of the audience and the increase in revenue per user will close the gap, and perhaps surpass , the total iOS app economy.
2. What is GetJar’s position in the app market and how will it change within the next year?
In 2012, Getjar established its virtual currency, Getjar Gold, as the fastest growing currency in Android apps. In less than a year, Getjar created 100 million Gold accounts. On average, when an app includes Getjar Gold as a billing option for in-app purchases, the app revenue doubles from existing users. Getjar Gold enables any users anywhere in the world to pay for in-app purchases. Also, it is portable across hundreds of apps, so people show up in an app with a Gold balance, ready to spend.
In 2013, Getjar further expanded its lead as the highest paying virtual currency, building on its user behavioral data to help developers merchandize and sell their virtual goods and in-app licenses more effectively.
3. How will GetJar further help its 500,000 and growing registered developers in 2013?
For independent developers, Getjar wants to create a single solution to grow their app businesses. Many developers struggle with the complexity of the user lifecycle: acquisition, engagement, and monetization. These are deeply complex and competitive disciplines that are usually too much for indie developers to handle on their own. By adding the Getjar SDK, developers get an optimized solution for the full user lifecycle and can focus on creating great app experiences.
4. What are the biggest trends in the app market which were not properly predicted in 2012?
The rise of the $100 million app businesses was swift. Only a couple of years ago, the top apps made less than $10 million. Now there are several with more than $100 million annual revenue.
5. What are your predictions with Apple’s market shares in the future?
Apple will continue to grow at a pace unseen in any other consumer electronics market ever. The iPhone and iPad still represent the best mobile experiences by far. However, they have a limited selection of form factors and occupy the high price positions within their segments. As a result, Android’s market share will increase and iOS will decrease. They are both great opportunities for app developers and we are lucky to have two choices in the mobile era rather than the one we had in the PC era.