BERLIN: Smartphone users in Germany downloaded almost 1bn apps in 2011, a figure expected to rise as device penetration increases in the country.

According to BITKOM, the trade body, this audience installed 962m applications last year, compared with 386m in 2010 and 89m in 2009.

Bruno Lamborghini, the chairman of BITKOM, said: "Apps can generate revenues in several ways: through the sale price, paid services within the app, or through advertising."

"The new business models ... currently developing could result in a stand-alone app economy."

Indeed, in revenue terms – linked both to sales and advertising – applications yielded some €210m last year, improving from €94m on an annual basis, and up from €22m two years previously.

These totals are expected to increase further going forward, as smartphone sales should rise by 35%, to 16m units, in 2011, while tablet purchase rates climb 29%, to 2.7m units.

BITKOM's study also estimated that there are now 1m apps currently available for the various smartphone operating systems around the world.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff