By Max Clarke

With more paid downloads, higher earning app service providers, higher earnings and the highest number of apps, Apple is currently the ‘king of the app economy’.

Research into the ballooning app industry carried out by Strategy Analytics, entitled "Apps, Apps Everywhere: The Billion Dollar Industry" , suggests that by the end of 2012 the industry will be worth in excess $8bn annually- equal to some $15000 a minute.

Whilst Apple’s economic hegemony is forecast to remain, apps on the Android market will be more numerous.

"Apps are a multi-billion dollar industry on their own,” commented Strategy Analytics’ apps research director, “and are playing an increasingly important role in the phone purchase process. After the OS decision has been made, apps play a critical role in augmenting platform stickiness. Win the apps, win the wallet–and win long term devotion."

The battle between Google and Apple is only one subtext in a market that will continue grow exponentially for the next six quarters. The unbridled opportunity of apps must face hurdles such as successful transition to new devices, improved means of discovery and driving revenue in emerging markets.

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