Apple hailed as the key driver behind app monetisation.
New data from ABI Research says cumulative global mobile app revenues will pass the $30 billion mark by the end of the year. The result is almost double 2011 figures and will comprise profits from premium downloads, in-app purchases, in app-ads, and rolling subscriptions.
Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI, said: "Consumers' high interest in apps has for long time been obvious from download volumes, but it's 2012 that will go down in history as the year when the economic side of the business finally took off. We're no longer talking only about a short-term gold rush. Apps have become a major digital industry."
Apple is praised as becoming the catalyst behind app monetisation, a result of a 'compelling OS and well-executed distribution and billing mechanisms'. However, Markkanen also commended Android, adding: "Google deserves a lot of credit for rehabilitating its proposition as an app distributor in the past year or so.
"If the old Android Market was a garage sale of the industry then the new Google Play has begun resembling a respectable department store. We estimate the Android developers' share of the annual app revenues to set around one-third."
With Apple and Google occupying first and second spots, Microsoft and RIM are left jockeying for third place. RIM has announced a release date for its BlackBerry 10 OS, and operator billing for BB App World with more than 50 networks, while Microsoft has already launched Windows Phone 8 on Nokia, HTC and Samsung devices.