The number of downloads from the four leading app stores grew 11 per cent worldwide in the first quarter of 2013, generating revenues of $2.2 billion (£1.4 billion), according to a new report.
Canalys' App Interrogator research found that the combined downloads across Apple's App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry World totalled 13.4 billion and the cash received from paid-for apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions rose by nine per cent.
"This is a multi-billion-dollar growth market, with more and more consumers around the world now comfortable and confident in finding apps, downloading them and making in-app purchases, on a growing addressable base of smart phones and tablets," said Adam Daum, Canalys chief analyst.
It was the emerging smartphone and tablet markets that performed the best through the first three months of 2013, with South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia all showing impressive growth.
Apple's App Store accounted for the largest indexed proportion of revenue at 74 per cent, while Google Play received 51 per cent of the total downloads. Tim Shepherd, Canalys senior analyst explained that the pair are the heavyweights of the app world.
"BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored," he continued.