At the start of 2015, Belgium had 200 companies that specialise in mobile applications (“apps”), and 1,200 developers, which is a slight increase compared to 2014 (150 companies, 1,000 developers). This information comes from a study of the sector by Agoria. The mobile application economy is on the up. While the first application developers in Belgium are said to have emerged in 2010, the Technological Federation had already welcomed 400 application developers by February 2013, and a thousand a year later. At the start of 2015, there were 1,200. “In reality, the number of jobs concerned is higher, as after the apps are developed, the companies that use them need more staff, as well as extra people to market and sell the products. Some of them have become big money makers and need several dozen people. Others were bought used by media companies or classic ITCs”, Agoria said in a press release.
The Federation of Technological Industry has underlined the “speed with which the sector became professionalized”. The amateur developer (6%) remains an exception in a sector dominated by independent developers (18%), and in particular employees (68%). Most of the sector’s turnover comes from the development of applications for third parties (58%) or subscribers (20%).
In Belgium, application developers mainly design for smart phones (92%) and tablets (80%), but applications for connected or “wearable” accessories are becoming more common. Finally “business to business” applications (64%) and not games (10%) are the biggest outlet.
“The app development sector has matured. It’s no longer confined to games and gadgets. They are strategic products, used in professional circles and part of our everyday life”, says Marc Lambotte, CEO of Agoria.
36 Belgian companies in the mobile application sector will be at the “Mobile World Congress” in Barcelona, which will take place on the 2nd to the 5th of March.