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(Reuters) – Worldwide mobile application store
revenue will almost triple to $15.1 billion this year, boosted by a
surge in Google’s Android market, research firm Gartner said on

Apple created the market
for mobile online software stores with the iPhone store in mid-2008,
scoring an instant hit that drove smartphone sales and reshaped the way
mobile content is delivered.

estimate that Apple’s App Store drove close to nine application
downloads out of 10 in 2010 and will remain the single best-selling
store … through 2014, although to a lesser extent, as other stores
manage to gain momentum," analyst Carolina Milanesi said.

week, Apple’s App Store reached 10 billion downloads. Its closest
rivals are Google’s Android and privately held GetJar which sells
software for all platforms and reached 1 billion downloads last June.

offered free to cellphone vendors, was expected to become the world’s
most popular smartphone operating system this year as vendors like HTC,
Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics roll out new models.

Gartner forecast 81 percent of all downloads this year will be made for free.

said 16 percent of application store markets’ $5.2 billion revenue was
generated from advertising, a share it expected to nearly double to 30
percent by the end of 2014.

(Editing by Dan Lalor)