Put it down to the iPad effect if you like, but it's not the whole story. A study commissioned by independent app store Getjar predicts that the mobile apps market will be worth $17.5 billion in just two years, with downloads up from 7 billion last year to 50 billion by 2012. The rocketing figures won't just increase the Apple share price, however, as the study expects a whole host of new app stores to appear over the coming months, although not all of them will survive in the long haul.
In short, the market is all for the taking—and it probably won't be the cell phone companies that are making it big. While manufacturers' apps accounted for over 60% last year, their share will fall to under 23% in 2012. Independent developers should win big—developer activity for the iPhone is up by 185%, although this is thought to be down to the iPad effect.
But it won't just be tablet and smartphone users who get the cool stuff. As Samsung's appearance on the OS front, with its open-source Bada shows, there will, without doubt, be apps for feature phones, which account for 90% of the cell phone market.
The study split the research into different worldwide territories and found that, while Asia is home to the most app downloads, it is North Americans who spend biggest in the market. With the average price for an app coming in at around $1.90 in 2009, the cost is expected to drop by 29%. This is probably due to the fact that advertising-based revenue models will double their market share to 28%.