BERLIN: The number of mobile apps downloaded by German consumers is set to rise dramatically this year, a report has argued.

A study by Bitkom, the digital industry body, and Research2guidance, the analytics firm, predicted 755m apps will be added to smartphones in the country in 2010.

This would constitutes a 78% increase when measured against 2009, and includes 346m such tools accessed in the first half of the year.

Currently, the average cost of a paid-for app is €2.82, although users still predominantly prefer free offerings rather than those charging a fee.

Overall, it was estimated that the channel delivered €157m in revenue across the opening six months of 2010, a figure anticipated to reach €343m annually.

A third of handsets purchased at present are smartphones, and the popularity enjoyed by Apple's App Store, Google's Android Market and BlackBerry's App World are partly driving this trend.

One strength possessed by this medium was said to be its diversity, covering everything from news and translation services to games and e-books.

"The boom in smartphones has inspired the development of new mobile applications," René Schuster, of Bitkom, suggested.

"Every month hundreds of new apps become available for download."

According to Bitkom and Research2guidance, some 500,000 applications are now available globally, yielding 3.9bn downloads in the first half of 2010, more than the 3.1bn recorded in 2009 as a whole.

During H1, worldwide sales came in at €1.7bn, up by €400m on the previous 12 months, in a further indication of the potential this model holds for publishers and brands.

"In addition to sales, apps can generate additional revenue through advertising inserted inside applications," Schuster added.

Data sourced from Bitkom; additional content by Warc staff