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Mobile Apps Market Expected to Peak in 2011

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, mobile phone application downloads for iOS and Android will account for 78 percent of all application downloads in 2010.

Apple iPhone iOS will take the majority share of 52 percent of all mobile applications. The numbers are downloads are driven by availability, variety and novelty in both the Android market and the iTunes App Store, which is currently unmatched by any other smartphone platform.

In addition, the sale of Android phones has accelerated in 2010, with over 160,000 activations being reported daily.

"The iTunes App Store's days of being the only game in town are over, although the store will continue to be the biggest player in the market," says Bhavya Khanna, wireless research analyst at ABI.

"However, downloads from other platforms, such as Blackberry's App Store and Nokia's Ovi Store remain sluggish, hampered by a lack of variety and fragmentation among both manufacturer's many devices."

Revenues from mobile app sales are beginning to reach a plateau, as high competition leads to a continued decline in total market value. Full-featured games are available from between $.99 and $5, and many popular application developers are adopting either an ad-supported or sponsor-supported business model.

Application store owners and mobile service operators will continue to support low-priced and free applications -- because they help them sell their smartphone devices. Making a profit will be a difficult proposition in a market that's expected to peak in 2011, with annual sales of just under $8 billion.

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