The dominance Apple has enjoyed for so long in the app store market will gradually be eroded over the next five years, according to new research.
Apple generated a massive 67% of smartphone app downloads last year – compared to just 14% of the installed smartphone base. But the company looks set to be overtaken by Google's Android by 2015, Ovum said.
By then, Android's share of the app store market will have grown from the current 14% to 26%, compared to Apple's 22%, the firm forecast.
And the Symbian platform is expected to be nipping at Apple's heels with a 19% share. Currently Symbian serves just 9% of app downloads, but commands a 49% share by installed base.
Even RIM's BlackBerry, which is set to lose smartphone share over the forecast period, will more than triple its share of the app download market from 5% to 17%.
“The iPhone generates the lion’s share of smartphone app downloads but over the period we will see the share of application downloads becoming more equally distributed,” Ovum principal analyst Michele Mackenzie said.
The overall market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 41% through to 2015 - with total downloads growing to 21.3 billion that year, versus 2.69 billion in 2009.
While North America will continue to be the largest market for app stores, its lead will likely decrease. It held 57% of the market in 2009, but this will shrink to just 31% in 2015.
APAC will be the fastest growing region, with its share of the global market expected to quadruple to 20% by 2015.