Worldwide mobile app revenue will triple in 2011: Report

Revenue generated by mobile app stores across the globe will triple to a staggering $15 billion, according to research firm Gartner, led by surges in popularity with Google’s Android phones and the Apple iPhone.

To put the popularity of Apple’s App Store into perspective, for example, it tok nearly a decade for iTunes to sell ten billion songs, while the ten billion app mark was achieved in less then three.

“We estimate that Apple’s App Store drove close to nine application downloads out of 10 in 2010 and will remain the single best-selling store … through 2014, although to a lesser extent, as other stores manage to gain momentum,” gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi says.

Although the iPhone is tremendously successful, the Android platform is more widely available on phones from HTC and Motorola to Samsung, and is expected to become the leading platform this year.

Gartner also forecasted that roughly four in five apps downloaded would be free, and that about 15 percent of app store’s revenue in 2010 was generated through advertising—a number expected to double by the end of 2014, by which time app stores will likely all be hubs for all things mobile.