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Mobile app downloads to top 25 billion by 2015

iSuppli predicts big growth for mobile applications over the next five years.

apps

Mobile device app downloads will pass the 25 billion mark in the next five years, according to Juniper Research.

The market is set to explode as an increasing number of outlets and applications are starting to appear. Even in the relatively young market conditions of 2009, downloads were estimated to be around 2.6 billion, according to Juniper's Mobile App Stores: Business Models, Strategies & Market Segmentation 2010-2015' report.

The current pay-per-download charging structure is being surpassed by free premium, or freemium, apps which are free to download but contain in-app billing for subscriptions, premium content or micropayments for virtual goods.

The report predicts that this will soon be joined by a growing number of apps that raise income by incorporating advertising.

An increasing number of app stores are springing up as phone manufacturers and their operating system suppliers plus mobile network operators try to emulate Apple's success with its iTunes online store.

The increase in vendors will come at a price because each will have to demonstrate sales of sufficient scale to attract app authors.

"Apple has been able to achieve several billion downloads from a comparatively small handset base because customers are buying the iPhone for the apps," said the report's author Windsor Holden, a Juniper Research principal analyst.

"That's not been the case with other handsets. So even if you have a subscriber base of tens of millions, your addressable market is a fraction of that and spread across a variety of operating systems and handsets".

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