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Mobile App Revenues to See 60% Compound Annual Growth Through 2014

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Application developers have churned out more than 300,000 mobile apps in just over three years. In 2010, mobile apps made the leap from the smartphone to media tablets. In 2011 and beyond, mobile apps will find their way into even more devices, including connected TVs and, by extension, the connected home.

According to a new IDC forecast, the market for mobile applications will continue to accelerate as the number of downloaded apps is expected to increase from 10.9 billion worldwide in 2010 to 76.9 billion in 2014. ­Worldwide mobile apps revenues will experience similar growth, surpassing $35 billion in 2014.

One of the most striking impacts of the extraordinary growth and evolution of the mobile apps space over the past three years has been the "appification" of broad categories of interactions and functions in both the physical and the digital worlds. Apps can turn a smartphone into a physical trainer that keeps track of exercise levels and even your heartbeat, help cook a meal by walking you through the meal prep and then tell you when it is fully cooked, monitor your driving and offer tips to increase gas mileage, turn your phone into a flashlight, connect you with friends through social networking, find your location through mapping, offer early forms of virtual reality, automatically upload and share pictures, scan physical goods through barcode readers, wirelessly transfer files by physically bumping two devices together, and provide a whole range of business support from fleet management to payroll.

"Mobile app developers will 'appify' just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds," notes Scott Ellison, vice president, Mobile and Wireless research at IDC. "The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector."

The most obvious beneficiaries of mobile apps are mobile users who utilize mobile apps of almost every conceivable type. Whether used to kill a few minutes while waiting in line or to download updated product specs in front of a customer, mobile applications have the power to change the way we live.

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