Mobile apps written for Microsoft and BlackBerry devices are threatening the market share held by Apple and Google.
Developers are increasingly coding across four platforms so Apple and Google apps are starting to lose dominance.
This is according to a new report from analyst firm IDC and development solution provider Appcelerator.
The report found that Google has nearly caught up to Apple in smartphone popularity and is closing the gap in tablet popularity with its Android platform.
The research highlighted the increasing integration of geo-location, social and cloud-connectivity services, coupled with a trend to integrate advertising and in-app purchase business models.
The report's authors said: "This points to a new focus on longer-term financial viability over free brand affinity apps."
IDC says the app industry is experiencing growth across the board.
"More apps, more devices, more operating systems, and more capabilities. Each year, Apple adds about 1,000 new capabilities into iOS. Each year, hundreds of new tablets, phones, and devices in between make their way into, literally, billions of user hands. BlackBerry is up. Windows is up. Amazon is up. Even the Mac is up."
This is the year for businesses to define their mobile app strategy, according to the report.
Last year, most respondents said they were merely exploring their mobile strategy. This year, 55 per cent of respondents said they are now shifting into the "acceleration" phase. On average, each respondent said they plan to develop 6.5 apps this year, up 183 per cent over last year.