Mobile app store revenues set to sky rocket

Survey suggests Apple will cash in, while Google, Nokia and RIM try to follow.

Apps

Mobile apps will continue to be big business this year, with revenue from the four biggest stores set to jump 77.7 per to 2.3 billion, according to research by IHS Screen Digest.

Apple's App Store is expected to continue to lead the charge of app and game downloads, resulting in the tech giant dominating with three-quarters of the market.

"With consumers continuing to show robust, unflagging interest in downloading games and other applications to devices like smart phones and tablets, collective revenues from the four stores will climb sharply this year," said Jack Kent, analyst, mobile media, for IHS.

Apple's dominance of this market stems from the popularity of its iPhone, iPod and iPad devices. Its leadership also comes from its ability to sell in-app purchases, or additional buying opportunities created within a paid application, such as bonus game levels.

IHS expects the company to retain 60 per cent market share by 2014, despite efforts by the other stores to match Apple's ability to monetise users.

While the big four maintain a position of dominance today, IHS has suggested Microsoft's Windows Marketplace could potentially have some impact on the market in the near future.

Google's Android Market is also expected to have a bigger impact in the future. However, RIM's BlackBerry App World and Nokia's Ovi Store are waning in their popularity.

Predicting the app download market's dynamics for the years ahead, IHS forecasts that the total number of downloaded applications in 2011 is expected to reach 18.1 billion by year-end, compared to 9.5 billion last year. By 2014, that figure will top 33 billion.

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