Market analyst Juniper has predicted that around 25 billion mobile applications will be downloaded from online app stores by 2015.
The company said that just 2.6 billion had been downloaded in 2009.
Juniper based its predictions on the increasing number of application stores in the market, with almost every mobile phone company and network service provider now offering its own app store. It compiled data from app stores including Google's Android Market, Nokia's Ovi Store and Vodafone’s 360 Apps & Games Shop, as well as the Mobile Market app store by China Unicom and Bharti Airtel's App Central.
The research firm stated that the success of these emerging application stores was wholly dependent on how well they are able to attract application developers and publishers.
Dr Windsor Holden, an analyst with Juniper, said in the report that “Apple has been able to achieve several billion downloads from a comparatively small handset base because customers are buying the iPhone for the apps. That’s not been the case with other handsets. So even if you have a subscriber base of tens of millions, your addressable market is a fraction of that - and spread across a variety of operating systems and handsets.”