EU countries accounted for 25 percent of the global ‘app economy’ in 2012 but that number has dropped to 19 percent in 2014, a Vision Mobile report claims. And it’s not that mobile apps aren’t driving economic growth across Europe, because they clearly are – it’s just that Asian countries are fast outpacing the EU in terms of growth in smartphone usage and app downloads.

Basing findings on its Developer Economics survey series, which Vision Mobile says reaches 10,000 app developers, the report claims app development is contributing $16.5 billion to the EU GDP in 2014.

That’s in line with the $17 billion in (direct) EU app economy revenues for this year, as recently estimated by NUI Galway and GigaOm Research in European Commission-sponsored research.

The app economy is growing at an annual rate of 27% globally, according to VisionMobile’s App Economy Forecasts 2013 – 2016 report, with global revenues from apps and related products and services forecast at $86 billion for 2014.

Europe is growing much slower than that, at a 12% annual growth rate, however, and its
share of global app production has shrunk to 19% of global app revenues compared to 24% of global app revenues in 2012. Developers are encouraged to keep a close eye on fast-growing Asian markets such as China and India.

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In 2013, Vision Mobile estimated that approximately 530,000 jobs in the EU were directly attributed to the app economy. For 2014, the company estimates that the number of direct app economy jobs in the European Union is 670,000 in 2014, representing an increase of 26%.

Including indirect jobs, Vision Mobile reckons the app economy employs ‘at least’ 1 million people in the European Union.

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Interestingly, Vision Mobile estimates that at least 497,000 jobs or approximately 50% of all direct and indirect app economy jobs in the EU can be directly attributed to Apple’s iOS.

While Android is used by more developers in the EU, the report claims iOS is the preferred platform for 43% of professional developers compared to 35% for Android.

App developers in Europe tend to be more focused on contract development compared to developers elsewhere, as other recent research has shown. Almost a third of the EU developer force (31%) generates revenues via contract development, according to Vision Mobile’s report, making it the top revenue source for
app developers in the EU.

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In other, related news, Apple says it is directly responsible for the creation of some 630,000 (mostly new) jobs in Europe and that it has distributed $6.5 billion to developers in Europe since the introduction of the App Store in 2008.

Apple accounts for 16,000 European staff directly – ranging from sales and supply chain management to manufacturing – in a total of 19 European countries.

(Featured image credit: Bloom Design / Shutterstock)