Mobile app market to be a two(ish) horse race by 2011

We love analysts reports at Bmob, but sometimes we just don’t agree, and the latest report from analysts ABI Research is a case in point.

According to ABI Research they expect mobile application downloads from iOS and Android to account for 78% of all application downloads in 2010, with iOS taking the lion’s share of 52% of all applications. But we have to beg to differ, as although Android is big, it’s not as big as GetJar and we think they’re seriously underestimating the Ovi market.

ABI’s wireless research analyst Bhavya Khanna says “The iTunes App Store’s days of being the only game in town are over, although the store will continue to be the biggest player in the market,” adding “However, downloads from other platforms, such as Blackberry’s App Store and Nokia’s Ovi Store remain sluggish, hampered by a lack of variety and fragmentation among both manufacturers’ many devices.”

Although ABI are quick to dismiss Ovi it does appear that the platform is starting to gain traction. Tesco have just announced that they will launch a shopping app on Ovi before they launch an app on iPhone – more on this later today – and we think that more and more businesses will start to look at Ovi, especially as the competition for eyeballs and downloads on the iTunes App store gets harder and harder.

We also think that ABI and all the other analysts are forgetting about Java apps and the independent distributors of Java apps and the role they have to play in the market. GetJar is the largest independent mobile app store, and claims it’s 2nd only to iTunes in total volume, serving in excess of 1 Billion downloads and it’s home to more than 75,000 mobile apps. So at the moment the two horse race is iTunes and GetJar with Android coming up fast on the inside. Next year, there’s no doubt that it will be overtaken by Android. However we think Ovi may just start to build a head of steam as Nokia include it pre-built in more and more of their handsets.

Where we do agree with ABI is that revenues from mobile app sales continue their decline, as ABI explains “high competition leads to a “race to the bottom.”” and making money will become more of a difficult proposition in a market that is expected to peak in 2011.