Revenue from mobile app stores forecast to exceed $15bn this year...
Total downloads from mobile app stores will reach 17.7 billion in 2011, according to analyst Gartner.
The forecast represents a predicted increase in mobile app downloads of 117 per cent, up from 8.2 billion downloads in 2010.
Free downloads are forecast to make up 81 per cent of total mobile app downloads. Despite the high proportion of apps downloaded for free, revenue created from downloads is forecast to surpass $15.1bn in 2011.
While the Apple App Store has been a market leader in mobile downloads, rival app stores including Android Market, Nokia's Ovi Store, Windows Marketplace and Samsung Apps have also experienced growth in 2010, contributing to the latest figures.
Growth in the mobile download market has resulted in apps moving beyond gaming and into everyday life with tools designed to help with tasks from shopping to travel.
They have also moved beyond the consumer sphere into the corporate world with many apps dedicated specifically to business use.
Mobile apps even have a role to play in healthcare, with patients able to download utilities that can give them information ranging from how to take their medication to what diet they should be following.