NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story in which it mentioned that Research in Motion (RIMM) is making its biggest push to attract developers in an attempt to increase the number of applications in its app store. According to the report, RIM plans to bring new services and development tools in the coming weeks in an attempt to refurbish its app store.
Software and applications have started to play an important role in mobile phone purchasing decisions among consumers. RIM's improved app store can not only help RIM grow its mobile phone market share, but also help the company improve its monetization opportunities through its apps business.
Potential Upside to RIM's Stock
RIM competes in a highly competitive smartphone market, with
iPhone and Android-based phones gaining market share in the smartphone market. We expect that RIM will continue to gain market share in the overall mobile phone market as the smartphone segment outgrows the rest of the mobile phone market. We believe that RIM will increase its mobile phone market share from around 2.7% in 2009 to 7.8% by the end of the Trefis forecast period.
RIM's market share could increase further if its app store gains more traction. There could be an upside of 30% to the $72 Trefis price estimate for RIM's stock if its market share increases at a faster rate to reach 10% by 2016, instead of the 7.8% that we currently forecast.
Improving App Store Important for RIM
RIM launched its app store in April 2009 as a reaction to the Apple iPhone app store which went live in July 2008. This gap of nearly one year gave Apple the competitive edge in developing its apps business far quicker then RIM. RIM?s app store has been criticized for being less developer friendly and involving a more tedious payment process compared to other app stores. RIM has about 10,000 apps in its app store, far less than the 70,000 Google has for its Android-based platform and the 250,000 present in the Apple's app store.
In Aug. 2010, RIM acquired Cellmania in order to better monetize its apps business and compete effectively with the Apple iAd advertising platform. Apple not only benefits by getting a cut of 30% for every paid app, but also by getting a cut of 40% from advertising dollars for a free app. The number of app downloads have been increasing at a rapid rate for Apple, and we expect it to increase rapidly from 2.2 billion in 2009 to 6.6 billion by 2010, and then to 52 billion by the end of the Trefis forecast period.
RIM's focus on improving its app store can help the company grow its mobile phone market share and offer developers a better platform to monetize their apps.
You can see the
complete $72 Trefis Price estimate for RIM's stock here.
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