An analyst report into the growing market for mobile applications has predicted that Android will overtake the market leader Apple by the end of next year, and possibly even sooner with the help of third parties.
The report, Apps, Apps Everywhere: The Billion Dollar Industry from Strategy Analytics, predicts that Apple will lose the top spot for application sales by the end of 2012.
However, this crossover may come sooner as Google is recruiting third-party vendors such as Amazon to set up Android marketplaces.
"Apps are a multi-billion dollar industry on their own and are playing an increasingly important role in the phone purchase process," said Josh Martin, director of apps research at Strategy Analytics.
"After the operating system decision has been made, apps play a critical role in augmenting platform stickiness. Win the apps, win the wallet, and win long-term devotion."
Irrespective of market position, the boom in mobile applications looks set to continue past 2012, the report said.
The total market is expected to be worth more than $2bn a quarter by the end of next year, and increases in the number and power of smartphone platforms are expected to drive strong demand for years to come.
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