Mobile app downloads forecast to reach 5 billion in 2014

Mobile application downloads are expected to reach 5 billion in 2014, more than double 2009's estimated 2.3 billion downloads, according to a new forecast issued by ABI Research. Citing growing smartphone adoption--sales grew 20 percent this year--as well as the proliferation of app stores behind the surge, ABI anticipates the iPhone will remain the leading platform for mobile software, although its share of the overall application market will contract during the latter stages of the forecast period--the forecast declares Android will benefit most from the upcoming boom, increasing from 11 percent of total application downloads this year to 23 percent five years from now. "This rapid growth is driven by the mass adoption of the Android OS by both vendors and consumers from 2009 onwards," says ABI wireless research associate Bhavya Khanna in a prepared statement. "There are now more than 14 phones that run the Android OS, and many more will launch in 2010. This, coupled with the rollout of application stores from both smartphone vendors and network operators, will see the iPhone's share of the total market shrink between 2010 and 2014."

Despite growing consumer interest in mobile applications, ABI expects revenues from app sales will decline by 2013 as competition forces downward pressure on prices. Another trend to watch: An increase of free and advertiser-supported applications rivaling premium apps, typified by the launch of the free Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn service.

For more on the ABI Research forecast:
- read this release

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