The EU app gap

A rather impressive report by Gigaom Research for the EU Commission concerning the European Union app Market – Sizing the EU app Economy (pdf)

In Gigaom’s words -  “This report focuses on sizing and qualifying the EU app ecosystem, with an eye toward revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU app developers.”

To support the revenue predictions they foresee employment growing from 1.8 million last year to around 4.8 million in 2018.

 The bottlenecks they envisage are as follows:

“Our surveys, interviews, and workshops all confirmed that EU developers face more business challenges than technical challenges. The independent developers told us low prices or free apps were the biggest problem (40 percent of respondents), though customer acquisition costs (30 percent of respondents) also ranked above access to capital or financing (14 percent of respondents).”

Talent is also a problem area.

“The business issues are reflected by the talent or HR bottlenecks shown by the surveys. Both types of company find it hard to compete with U.S. salaries for developers and wish there were more education and training programs to teach mobile and social networking developer skills. But even the startups acknowledged their own lack of business skills.”

The main takeaways from their research they reckon are:

  • A potential opportunity in third-party discovery platforms outside the Apple and Google app stores
  • A large opportunity in contract development, there’s a need for startups to connect with would‐be enterprise customers.
  • On the technology side, cross‐platform development tools and higher-level abstractions like HTML5 and methodologies like responsive design could alleviate incompatibilities.

Much more besides and we couldn’t help but notice a very active and informative Blog  over at Gigaom

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