Device operating systems

Betting Big on Mobile Apps

5:35 PM -- PocketGear, which bolstered its world's largest independent mobile app store status after acquiring Handango Inc. in February, has received a $15 million cash infusion to fuel its growth further. (See PocketGear Buys Handango.)

The funding was led by Trident Capital with participation from BlackBerry Partners Fund. Now, the cross-platform store is boasting 140,000 apps, 32,000 developers in its developer program, support for all major operating systems and platforms, customers across 17 countries, and 40 global partners, including 4 of the top 5 handset makers, 3 of the top 10 mobile operators, and 4 out of 5 of the top US mobile operators (no Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)). (See Pyramid: Mobile Apps on the Upswing.)

PocketGear also states in its release that "multiple industry analysts" agree mobile app revenues will reach $20 billion by 2013.

Incidentally, analytics firm Research2guidance put out a slightly less optimistic, but still positive, forecast today, for downloads in the same period. It said that mobile app downloads totaled $2.2 billion for the first half of 2010 and will grow rapidly to achieve $15 billion in revenue by 2013.

The Berlin-based company also said that 3.8 billion apps were downloaded in the first half of the year compared to 3.1 billion apps for all of 2009. Research2guidance expects these figures to only continue to grow.

Neither of these semi-related tidbits speaks to the quality of those apps, but -- there's no denying it -- mobile apps are so hot right now.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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