The global mobile apps market will be worth $17.5 billion (€12.74 billion) in 2012, making it bigger than the CD market, says GetJar.
A report commissioned by the app store predicts that downloads will increase from 7 billion in 2009 to almost 50 billion in two years’ time.
Sales in Europe will grow from $1.5 billion in 2009 to $8.5 billion in 2012, and in North America from around $2.1 billion to $6.7 billion, the report by consulting firm Chetan Sharma states.
By comparison, the global CD market is expected to be worth just $13.83 billion in 2012.
Asia is the biggest market for apps, accounting for 37% of global downloads in 2009, although North American users spent the most money, accounting for more than 50% of all sales.
The average selling price (ASP) of an app was 10 cents in Asia and 20 cents in South America compared to $1.09 in North America.
The evolving market will open up opportunities for developers, Chetan Sharma predicts. By 2012 paid-for apps from third party developers would account for almost 50% of all apps revenue. By comparison, apps sold by operators accounted for over 60% of all apps revenue last year and this will fall to just under 23% by 2012.
Advertising-based models were becoming increasingly important to app stores. Ads contributed almost 12% of the overall apps revenue last year and this was likely to more than double to 28% by 2012 - thanks mainly to the huge number of prepaid users in developing markets.
The report noted the proliferation of app stores, which leaped last year from eight to 38 and was likely to grow further in 2010.
“There is no way that this many app stores will survive in the long term and while the value of the global app economy is set to be astoundingly high by 2012, we think only a few app stores will share this revenue,” said GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs.