Android has more than 1m device activations, Windows Phone 8 has just launched, BB10 is due for a Q1 2013 arrival and the iPhone 5 and new iPads have sold more than five million and three million units, respectively.
With all of those contributing factors, Strategy Analytics expects the app market to generate $35bn in 2017, soaring from $1bn three years ago.
Meanwhile, targeted ads, consumer zest for tech and in-app payments are set to drive the revenues.
Paid downloads accounted for 70 per cent of revs in 2009, but will fall to 36 per cent in 2017 to be replaced by advertising as the dominant money maker.
Josh Martin, director of apps research at Strategy Analytics, said: "The battle for developers is on and supporting recurring revenue streams is essential to gaining developer support.
"It is for this reason that Microsoft and Research in Motion are ensuring their new platforms support in-app purchase and subscription in addition to paid downloads and advertising at launch.
"They continue to battle for third place as the forecast shows Apple's and Google's app stores dominating revenue generation for developers throughout the forecast period."