As part of its predictions for 2013, research firm Gartner said that mobile apps will become increasingly important. According to the company, apps will become the primary way for consumers to interact with brands, surpassing websites, by 2016. It anticipates 45 billion app downloads for 2012, a figure that will grow to 305 billion by 2016.
"The ability to reach customers at almost any place and time through mobile devices represents a fundamental change in how brands can deliver customer service, product and marketing functions, and supply physical and virtual goods," said the report. "It also, of course, makes mobile apps indispensable."
The growing reliance on mobile apps will go hand-in-hand with a growing reliance on mobile cloud computing services. In particular, Gartner anticipates greater competition among cloud storage vendors.