Market research firm In-Stat is predicting a banner year for downloads of VoIP smartphone applications.
In its newly released report on worldwide smartphone applications for the first half of 2010, the company predicts 128 million VoIP application downloads this year, generating service revenues of $2.9 billion.
That would make VoIP downloads the second-fasted growing element within the broader category of communications downloads. Only microblogging downloads are growing at a faster rate.
The leaders within the category remain the workhorses of communications: E-mail, instant messaging, and social media.
Vice President of Research Frank Dickson said the swift acceptance of VoIP downloads should continue at a brisk clip. By 2013 mobile VoIP will generate $3.2 billion in service revenues, driven by some 278 million registered users.
The rise of Wi-Fi-capable handsets could boost mobile VoIP, as people turn to Wi-Fi as a means for bypassing cellular networks. Continued rollouts of data-centric WiMAX and LTE will also drive adoption.
Further, the trend toward VoIP downloads on smartphones indicates a market shift beyond individuals looking to pare their international calling charges, and toward more formal enterprise adoptions looking to do the same.
"We are seeing a larger and larger interest in mobile VoIP being driven in the enterprise space," Dickson said. "Its an aggressive way for companies to start reducing their international calling costs."