The sports and health mobile app market will grow to over $400 million in 2016. This is up from $120 million in 2010, and a vast majority of this growth would be the result of mobile handsets that can easily connect to wearable devices, which can work on new functionality with accuracy and appeal to sports and fitness apps.
As smartphone handsets find new ways to access and support healthcare applications, it will become more important within the healthcare market and could contribute towards home monitoring systems for aging users, personal emergency response services and remote healthcare monitoring applications. It is however suggested that the dominant force behind the growth of the mobile health application market will be sports and fitness.
Jonathan Collins, Principal analyst, ABI Research said: “Downloadable apps are moving the sports tracking device market from proprietary devices to mobile phones, but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect. However, with the connectivity that Bluetooth Smart will embed in mobile handsets, wearable devices will bring greater detail to mobile handsets.”
Athletic equipment manufacturers have already started to support handset applications by using Bluetooth or their own proprietary technology. At the same time, veterans like Garmin and Polar have created high-end specialist systems. ABI Research suggests that in the next five years these giants will have to compete directly with the mobile handset.
“As applications increasingly become part of a bundle that ships with wearable devices, revenues from mobile applications will lag behind the growth in app downloads. Mobile application downloads will actually grow at nearly twice the rate of revenues between 2010 and 2016, with more than a billion downloads annually by 2016,” Collins added.