Juniper Research has released mobile application market projects that puts the number of mobile application downloads to approach 20 billion (that's with a B) per year by 2014.
Like it or not, Apples' App Store, which passed a billion downloads earlier this year, has led others to develop and research the mobile app store potential. Microsoft is slated to launch its Marketplace later this year and others have (Palm Pre, Nokia, Blackberry) or are developing (Verizon, Handmark) app stores. Even with such an increase in the mobile app stores on the market, 20 billion per year may still be a tall order to fill.
The report can be purchased from Juniper (for a modest cost of 1750 pounds or $2,897 U.S. Dollars (cough, cough)). While the details of the survey weren't available, one might assume Juniper is taking into consideration any phone that is capable of a mobile download in this survey. That would include Nokia, Blackberry, Palm, the iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, proprietary OS, and others in this study.
Under those circumstances, 20 billion may be very well be possible. If everyone downloads a dozen apps a year, to reach 20 billion downloads you would need approximately 1.6 billion phones. World wide, those number might not be too far fetched making the 20 billion target more realistic.