Smartphone manufacturers need to accommodate seven core smartphone applications, the “Big Seven”, in their next generation handset designs, according to In-Stat.

These big seven applications include email, games, social networking, instant messaging, mapping & directions, music & radio, and weather.

Combined, the big seven will account for 7 billion downloads worldwide in 2014, says the research group.

“In-Stat tracks 26 different categories of smartphone applications,” said Frank Dickson, VP of Research. “A designer can optimize a handset for any one of those application categories. However, it’s the big seven applications that phone designers need to accommodate in each and every device.”

Recent research by In-Stat found that the three applications that have the highest compound annual growth rates through 2014 are micro blogging, mobile banking and VoIP.

The report also says that the number of Android apps downloaded is growing at the fastest rate; however, Apple applications still dominate both free and paid downloads.

“The tsunami of mobile applications has created a hyper-competitive market putting significant pressure on prices and margins,” said Dickson.

According to In-Stat, productivity applications such as mapping, business and enterprise applications and phone tools & utilities generate 59% of all smartphone application revenue.

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