Singapore, U.K. — Canalys, an analysis firm for the technology industry, predicts that the total revenue from app stores across smartphones and tablets combined will double to $14.1 billion next year and reach $36.7 billion by 2015.

According to the company’s new report, app stores are projected to bring in nearly $7.3 billion this year, a figure which includes the purchase and sales of apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Mobile apps will affect all aspects of the customer lifecycle, from acquisition and retention to lifetime value and profitability, making them essential to any future marketplace.

“Mobile apps are a disruptive technology force,” said Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd. “By building on their strengths, operators can capture more of the market, while delivering a better customer experience.”

On the down side, Canalsys said consumers might feel overwhelmed by the massive number of apps and app categories.

“The leading stores already have hundreds of thousands of apps, so it’s hard for operators to compete with those numbers,” said Shepherd. “On the other hand, too much choice brings serious problems in terms of application discovery for both developers and users, which operators can turn to their advantage.”

Related Links: (Canalys)