Ovum is tipping app downloads in the Asia-Pacific market to grow by almost 200 percent this year, with Android's dominance forecast to soar to new peaks in the near future.
The telecoms analyst said Asia-Pacific (AP) app downloads would top almost 5 billion by the end of 2011 up from the 1.6 billion downloaded in 2010.
Ovum also said Android was on track to "upset the apple cart" by stealing dominance of total downloads from the iPhone for the first time.
Other shifts include the rise of the Windows Phone operating system, which will overtake BlackBerry for third place in both total number of downloads and revenues by 2015.
"The huge lead in downloads that Android will take
on Apple is being driven by the growth of the platform as a result of
its increasing popularity and progress into lower price points," said devices analyst Nick Dillon.
The company said Android would take a significant lead in the region with 1.8 billion downloads compared to Apple's 1.5 billion, and would almost double the number of iPhone downloads by 2016.
"But although Android phones will lead on total download numbers, iPhone will continue to dominate the AP market in terms of revenues from paid-for apps, reaching US$808 million in 2016, compared to US$394 million for Android."
Ovum also predicted revenues from paid apps would hit US$871 million, more than double the US$302 million the market brought in last year.
But charging top-end premiums for smartphone apps is becoming increasingly difficult, according to Eden Zoller, Ovum consumer telecoms principal analyst.
"The majority of paid-for apps are in a commodity pricing zone and those capable of pushing above the $5 mark are in the minority," she said.
"Good candidates are utility apps that bring increased productivity and convenience, or those that are deemed cool, fashionable and fun, such as the release of a long-awaited blockbuster game."
She said more affluent segments in emerging markets were now familiar with applications.
"There is less tolerance for second-rate applications and this is making consumers increasingly more selective and discerning. This will affect the number of downloads going forward and also how much, if anything, they will be prepared to pay for applications."
Dillon said the app store would most likely remain the primary channel for consumers to download application, despite the advent of HTML5.
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