More than 4.2 billion dollars was spent on mobile phone applications last year with Apple grabbing over 99 percent of the growing market, according to research firm Gartner.
Apple accounted for at least 99.4 percent of the 2.516 billion downloads of the mini-programs for smartphones last year, Gartner said.
Gartner put revenue from mobile phone applications at 4.24 billion dollars in 2009 and predicted it would rise to 6.8 billion dollars this year and 29.5 billion dollars by 2013.
Apple announced earlier this month that more than three billion paid and free applications for the iPhone or iPod Touch had been downloaded from the California company's online App Store since it was launched in July 2008.
"We see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said at the time.
Gartner's analysts agreed saying that Apple could hold on to at least two-thirds of the market if current sales trends hold for 2010.
"As smartphones grow in popularity and application stores become the focus for several players in the value chain, more consumers will experiment with application downloads," Gartner research director Stephanie Baghdassarian said.
"Games remain the number one application, and mobile shopping, social networking, utilities and productivity tools continue to grow and attract increasing amounts of money," Baghdassarian said in a staement.
Apple splits revenue from mobile phone applications with the independent developers who create the programs and submit them to Apple for approval.
The success of Apple's App Store has led Blackberry maker Research in Motion, Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, Google and others to launch their own mobile phone applications stores.
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