What is the revenue from app stores? (and how does it compare to other mobile content)

With all the hype over app stores (yes, I do believe there is a lot of hype), it’s worth putting a bit of perspective on the size of the marketing compared to other mobile-related activities:

iphone has 35 million users is 0.7% of all phones worldwide and 3.5% of the US market (yes, it has sold 50+ million, but various people are on upgrades so in terms of active users the fiture is lower).
The current value of app sales across ALL handsets was $7 billion in 2009.
The value of MMS (arguably a niche medium) was $28 billion in 2009 (1.4 billion active users).
The global value of SMS? $128 billion (3 billion users).
*figures from Portio

Whilst a lot of media types are running around telling us the future of mobile is in apps, this kind of puts things into perspective really.

How many ipads can Apple sell? 10.5m according to Gartner

The talk is all about how Apple have (once again) redefined the market, and that the ipad will do to publishing what the ipod did to music. So, basically bugger up the business model once and for all! Gartner’s predictions seem to be holding that out with a first year sales of 10.5 million. The iphone has sold 50+ million, so it looks like the ipad will be doing pretty well at those kind of volumes. Personally I’m not convinced. The ipad fills a niche, but it really is a niche, and will not be mass market. There, I’ve stuck my neck out … lets see if I’m proven wrong at some later date.