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Google’s App Revenue Increases Sixfold as It Chases Apple Store

Google Inc., benefiting from growing sales of smartphones running its Android software, boosted revenue from mobile applications more than sixfold in 2012 as it gained ground on Apple Inc., according to a report from research group App Annie.

Customers buying games in Japan and South Korea helped drive the increase, according to App Annie’s index that tracks the market for buying and selling games, productivity tools and other mobile-software apps. Apple has disclosed that its App Store generated about $333 million a month from June to December. That’s about 3.5 times larger than at Google’s store, called Google Play, according to App Annie.