The Radical Growth of the App Economy (Infographic)

I’d say that one of the biggest values of a smartphone lies in the potential uses you get from apps. From financial trackers to calorie counters to tools that can help you find the cheapest gas nearby, apps have really changed the way people live their lives, and I think that’s fascinating to think about.

A recent study came out in which it was estimated that developing mobile applications accounted for nearly half a million new jobs on the market—a statistic I find absolutely staggering. It goes to show that seemingly small things can have an enormous impact on the economy.

This infographic lays out a few more statistics on the developing “app economy,” and also has some helpful tips on what apps can help readers with smartphones save money. My personal favorite is GasBuddy, which locates the where in your neighborhood gas prices are cheapest—something I’ve been finding more and more useful as gas prices climb. Check out the infographic in full below.

App Economy Infographic


  1. Have you seen Windows 8 yet? Its a completely different OS than Windows 7 and the ones before it… It’s all “app based” and much different that what we are used to (or maybe not, since apps are so popular)…

  2. Very interesting.

    One note: regarding the “retail price” of the Simon versus that of the iPhone 4S, the price referenced for the Apple product would be that of the phone with a two-year contract, not the true retail price. I’m not sure if the Simon was sold with or without a contract and what effect that would have on the price. This may change your comparison.

  3. The rise of app economy gives great opportunity for all application developers to shine and earn money. And this breeds young millionaires who use their programming skills to the highest level.

  4. I’m with you…it never displays right on my email. Then I have to open a browser and look at it which takes more time…not a very frugal use of my time…

    • Fellow blog commenters – why do you continually feel the need to point out your annoyance with infographic posts on the Frugal Dad site? Just unsubscribe if you don’t like it and go elsewhere. I swing by this blog weekly and I’m so tired of reading people’s comments (and usually rude tone) about how the infographics need to go away. As a new reader to FD I’ve been impressed with the quality of these types of posts – especially when you think how much time, research, thought and creativity is required to put something like this together!

      Overall my message is simple – Frugal Dad keep blogging about what you want and keep the innovation coming! Readers be nice and lighten up… who knows you might actually learn something in the process!

  5. I love GasBuddy I use it all the time. I just wish more people used it in my area so the prices could be updated faster!

  6. Isn’t it amazing how the iPhone changed everything? It really did. I love how this info graphic points out that apps are good for business – I’ve even run into people on the street who were creating and marketing their own apps! Incredible that an industry this large can be created within a few short years.

    • I think that cellphones, much like computers before them (and TVs before them, and radios even before that), the market’s abnormal profits will disappear as the technology becomes more powerful, less expensive, and more disposable. iPhone has built a strong brand, but it’s just that – a brand. They only command a superior price because iSheep consumers are willing to pay ridiculous amounts more than the actual phone cost.

  7. Great IG but there is something missing again. The mobile web app.
    Mobile web apps are (according to survey stats released this week), more popular and well used than native apps from any of the platforms, in the retail industry.
    Further interesting facts emerged about men being more prominent users of native apps and women being more prominent in mobile web app use.
    I foresee a shift from native apps for ‘utility’ applications due to a rising need for more generic availability of applications across all devices. Faster data plans in all geographies means loading a website app is very often quicker than a native app, and unless there is a need for offline content then a web app makes more sense for ‘live’ content and developers who want to iterate more quickly.
    There is one additional benefit that developers can retain more of their revenue with a mobile web app.
    My 2 cents!

  8. While using gasbuddy may save a few cents, the apps that scan barcodes or QR codes and compares prices are where you could have some huge savings.

  9. Excellent infographic as always. One of the greatest reasons to own a smartphone is the value you get from apps, especially the awesome money-saving ones as listed (Mint is my personal favourite). It’s especially exciting to see all the jobs they’ve managed to create.

  10. The app landscape really amazes me. The money people have earned is crazy. However, the statistics we have been able to gain are awesome (i.e social graph). Did anyone participate in “National UNplugged Day?

  11. Love it!!!! Communicates it perfectly. I absolutely love apps, especially as I have an iphone. It’s amazing how easy it now is to manage my websites on the go. I really wouldn’t want to go back to any other type of smartphone after using an iphone