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App market growth to explode

App market growth to explode

The number of mobile users downloading apps to their phones will increase ever upwards at least until 2015, analysts predict.

Users will download over 25 billion apps annually in five year's time, which is close to a tenfold increase over the 2.6 billion downloaded in 2009, according to Juniper Research.

Although the App Store on the iPhone has become the largest and most powerful of the current download services, it has acted as a catalyst for other firms to create their own alternatives and has been beneficial to the market as a whole, the company claims.

Dr Windsor Helen of Juniper said: "Apple has been able to achieve several billion downloads from a comparatively small handset base because customers are buying the iPhone for the apps.

"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."

The firm's study also noted the growing popularity of Freemium apps, which do not cost anything to download but create money for the developers via in-app purchases or subscription options.

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