IDC predicts 2011 will be big year for mobile devices, applications The seemingly unending growth in the popularity of smartphones and tablets will make 2011 the year of the mobile device and mobile applications, according to a recent report from industry analysis firm IDC. Mobility factored prominently in the new study, which disclosed IDC's top technology predictions for next year. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have experienced unprecedented market growth this year, with some experts estimating increases of 95 percent year-over-year in the third quarter. Eventually, this will force a major shift in the computing market, according to IDC. Researchers at the company expect shipments of app-cable mobile devices to outnumber PC sales within the next 18 months. Such a shift may have been unthinkable just several years ago, but the proliferation of devices, such as as the iPad and smartphones that run various mobile operating systems, is causing the move. The focus on mobile devices has also driven development, sales and use of mobile applications, which IDC doesn't see slowing any time soon. According to the report, mobile apps will continue to "explode" to "staggering" heights in 2011. This year, 10 billion apps were downloaded. Next year the number will more than double at 25 billion, IDC predicts. "Over time, the still-emerging apps ecosystems promise to fundamentally restructure the channels for all digital content and services to consumers," the report states. Apple, with its iPhone Apps Store, continues to dominate the app market. CEO Steve Jobs recently announced there are now more than 300,000 apps available for devices - iPhone, iPad and iPod touch - that run Apple iOS, the company's mobile operating system. However, IDC expects Google's Android Marketplace to gain ground next year. Currently the Google market is a distant second. IDC's predictions also touched on enterprise social media use. The firm forecasts the number of companies utilizing social networking will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent for the next four years. Reports on the mobile device and mobile operating system markets continue to remain strong. The latest report from market research firm comScore revealed 234 million Americans age 13 and older use at least one mobile device. At 66 percent, text messages lead content usage estimates, but, at 31.4 percent, an increase of 2.3 percent over the previous three-month period, mobile apps are gaining ground. The Creative Department is a Cincinnati, Ohio advertising, branding and marketing ad agency providing web site design and development.
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