Futuresource Consulting has estimated that the mobile gaming market will generate $10 billion annually by 2014.
It also predicted significant growth for the sector this year, claiming that smartphone take-up would have risen by 50 per cent come the end of 2010 – meaning 270m units worldwide.
The analyst pegged Apple's iPhone range as covering 30 per cent of the mobile gaming market this year, generating $1.7 billion.
Nonetheless, it saw 'traditional' mobile games as retaining the lion's share of the sector this year, at 60 per cent compared to the 10 per cent accounted for by app stores.
However, Futuresource felt this would change dramatically come 2014, with app-based games comprising 95 per cent of the market by then.
Said Patrik Pfandler, lead mobile analyst at Futuresource, "The growth of in-apps payments is a key ingredient in the commercial success of apps gaming.
" In the short term we'll see the rise of the 'freemium' business model. In the longer run, we're going to see ad-funded apps games start to gain more traction as well."