I noticed that this used to take forever for me and for a lot of people and I just did something that cut it down A LOT. Now it goes in about 20 seconds rather than 10 minutes. Currently, iTunes hasn't been syncing all my apps properly. I tell it to sync them but after the sync and long backups, they don't show in my iTunes. So I went and downloaded all the ones that didn't sync from the iTunes store on my laptop. So now both iTunes and my iPhone show the same apps. This sped mine up a lot, like I said. It may have something to do with if they don't show in sync, it re-downloads all apps from the iPhone on it's backup process, even if it has done it before. So by DLing them on the computer it no longer has a need to. Hope that helps!