Users of Apple's App Store and other online application marketplaces could pass the 100 million mark in five years' time, creating a host of new marketing opportunities along the way, according to new research from In-Stat.
The market intelligence firm's The App Store Is Born report predicts that mobile advertisers will have a new platform through which to tout their wares.
Known as 'application marketing', the new category will provide exciting new opportunities for marketers and advertisers, according to In-Stat. But the firm warned that not all the right factors are yet in place.
"The Apple iPhone caused dramatic changes in the mobile market not only with its hardware but with 'real web' browsing and its application store. Those two factors have changed the way people use their phones, and opened several new opportunities for marketers," said the report.
"The unique capabilities of smartphones along with their new usage models represent a rapidly growing market for mobile advertising and marketing."
Apple's App Store blazed the trail for online marketplaces by recording over 800 million downloads in the first few months alone.
Since then, Google has launched its own Android Market for applications built on the Android platform, Research in Motion has a BlackBerry Application StoreFront on the way and Nokia has announced the Ovi Store.
Even Microsoft has got in on the act, launching its own Windows Marketplace for Mobile a few weeks ago.
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