Since the opening of the Apple Store last year, Apple has proven that mobile applications can not only be immensely saleable, but that the best can become folk phenomenon. A niche thing until Apple exploded it less than a year ago, the mobile app market will be worth $25 billion in five years, according to Juniper research. Right now, most mobile application revenue is made at the time of purchase, but Juniper expects that in-app billing will increase in use, enabling incremental revenues. The future of the mobile app market is in data revenues, not purchase price, according to Juniper, which urges mobile providers to reject walled


“Data revenue growth is dependent upon operators embracing policies which enable open access – a policy which also involves facilitating app stores which compete with their on-portal offerings,” said Windsor Holden, the report’s author.

Juniper predicts that mobile providers’ walled gardens will bereplaced by app stores within the next few years.

“By 2011, the majority of all app-related revenues will come from apps delivered via app stores. Furthermore, not only does the relative importance of offstore channels diminish with regard to app revenues, but that their real value is likely to decline from 2012 onwards,” according to the report’s white paper (available free with registration here.

Juniper predicts that games will remain the most downloaded and best revenue-producing applications, but that Multimedia and Entertainment apps will attract the greatest value-added-service (subscriptions, premium events and additional content) revenue.

Of all mobile app categories, only games have so far reached mass market status.

By Mark Alvarez