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Mobile app sales could reach $3.8 billion in 2011

Mobile app stores operated by the likes of Apple and Google could clock up close to $4 billion is sales according to crystal-ball-gazing by tech analysis outfit iSuppli.

Games, productivity tools and other software for iOS and Android among others will hit the $3.8 billion mark in 2011 according to the Californian research firm, and could top $8 billion by 2014.

With a massive head start on the competition, online app store pioneer Apple is expected to maintain a 75 per cent share of the cash for the foreseeable future, and is using its legal might to keep the term 'app store' all to itself, much to the chagrin of competitors like Amazon who think it should be declared generic.

With every major global corporation from Disney to News Corp jumping on the mobile app bandwagon, the industry is set for massive growth with unit sales predicted to rise from 3.1 billion in 2009 to more than 18 billion this year.

Google's Android Market is expected to make a dent in Apple's dominance having shown the fastest growth in 2011 with revenue boosted by close to 300 per cent. Predicted takings of $400 million will mean Google's Android offering will soon become the second largest app store.

iSuppli reckons we'll be downloading close to 35 billion mobile apps by 2014.