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Mobile apps market to exceed $35 billion

Mobile phone and tablet users will download over 75 billion apps by 2014, say analysts.

A mobile app

The worldwide market for mobile applications is set to exceed US$35 billion (22 billion) by 2014, according to a forecast from industry analysts IDC. Application downloads are expected to reach 76.9 billion a year, up from 10.9 billion a year today. The apps market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 60 per cent.

So far, application developers have written more than 300,000 apps for devices such as the iPhone and Android handsets. According to Scott Ellison, a vice president for research at IDC and one of the report's authors, one of the most interesting developments in the market is the wide range of programs being developed, and the number of topics they cover.

IDC identified applications ranging from recipe and cooking hints to software that turns a smart phone into a torch, through to enterprise applications including fleet management and payroll. "Mobile app developers will 'appify' just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds," said Ellison.

IDC's predictions for the mobile apps market are significantly ahead of other analysts' estimates; research house Juniper, for example, said recently that it expected the annual market for apps to reach 25 billion by 2015.

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