Downloads of mobile applications will reach almost six billion this year, roughly three times that of 2009, as increased competition leads to lower prices, according to a new report from ABI Research.
The report said that apps downloads will hit a peak of almost seven billion by 2013, as smartphones and apps stores continue to grow in popularity.
However, this will not to lead to large revenues for mobile operators, as the increased competition will see prices decrease and popular applications like GPS being bundled into devices as standard, according to Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting at ABI.
"As competition heats up, app makers are dropping prices and going free to stay on top of the download charts," he said.
Apple's iPhone operating system will account for the majority of apps downloads, peaking at almost four billion in 2014 and representing more than half of all apps downloads estimated for that year.
Google's Android will also perform well, with anticipated apps download figures almost quadrupling from 2009 to 2010. The platform will remain strong over the next five years, accounting for almost one billion apps downloads by 2013.
Windows Mobile, Nokia's Symbian platform and RIM's BlackBerry OS will also see consistent sales in the coming years, but little growth.
Bhavya Khanna, research associate at ABI, said that Android will remain the biggest grower in the apps market but that the iPhone remains the leading platform.
"The iPhone will continue to be the leading apps platform with other platforms playing catch-up. Android will be the fastest gainer among them, and we expect over 800 million Android applications to be downloaded in 2010," he said.
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