There were tons of so-called experts who claimed the smartphone app stores were earning tons of money last year. They were not. The world’s most successful smartphone app store (there are over 30 of them already), ie Apple’s iPhone App Store – earned about 715 Million dollars in calendar year 2009, of which Apple kept 215 million dollars, and paid out 500 million dollars to developers. This is not a significant money-making opportunity. Not now in 2010. Maybe in a few years down the line but not now. Just for contrast, the ‘non-messsaging’ mobile data ‘services’ revenues in 2009 were more than 100 Billion dollars. The real money is in mobile services, not in smartphone apps. As I have been saying for a long time, smartphone apps are a false promise now in mobile.
Of course, this can be flawed. The mobile app developers may not be indirectly earning from their apps but from the other projects they have where they earn more. But we can see clearly that with all the focus on mobile gadgets, it is the TelCos who earn the most from it. Since most mobile apps need data plan to work. =) iPhone, Android, China phone go through them.