Worldwide mobile application store downloads are expected to reach 17.7 billion in number in 2011, garnering more than $ 15.1 billion in revenue, research firm Gartner on Thursday said.
"Worldwide mobile application store revenue is projected to surpass $ 15.1 billion in 2011, both from end users buying applications and applications themselves generating advertising revenue for their developers. This is a 190 per cent increase from 2010 revenue of $ 5.2 billion," Gartner said in a statement.
The number of downloads globally from mobile applications stores like Apple's App Store and Nokia's Ovi are expected to increase from about 8.2 billion in 2010 to 17.7 billion in 2011, Gartner said in a statement.
By the end of 2014, over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded from mobile app stores, since the launch of the first one in July 2008, it added.
"We strongly believe there is a sizable opportunity for application stores in the future. However, applications will have to grow up and deliver a superior experience to the one that a Web-based app will be able to deliver," Gartner Research Director Stephanie Baghdassarian said.
Gartner said the hype around application stores in 2009 continued through 2010 with alternative offerings to the Apple App Store gaining some traction.
Google's Android Market, Nokia's Ovi Store, Research In Motion's (RIM's) App World, Microsoft Marketplace and Samsung Apps are the key competitors that saw the number of application downloads grow in 2010, it added.
Free downloads are forecast to account for 81 per cent of total mobile application store downloads in 2011.