People who are thinking of selling their mobile phone for cash may wish to upgrade to a high-end smartphone, as mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
According to research by Gartner, revenues in the mobile application store sector are set to increase by 190 per cent this year.
If its estimates prove correct, this would take the money generated by smartphone apps to more than £9.4 billion in 2011.
Free downloads were said to be proving especially popular and are expected to account for than eight in ten app downloads this year.
Gartner has also predicted that the overall number of downloads from application stores will go up to 17.7 billion this year.
This is 117 per cent higher than the figure recorded during 2010.
The organisation noted that Apple's app store is facing strong competition from the offerings provided by other brands, including Nokia, Samsung and Research In Motion.
Gartner said this is helping to fuel the current growth in the market.
Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at the group, commented: "Application stores have become a highly visible and potentially lucrative part of the smartphone ecosystem.
"Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so."
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, added that the average number of app downloads onto smartphones will remain stable during the next few years.
This, she said, means further growth in the market will be fuelled largely by media tablet users.
Ms Milanesi predicted that Apple's App Store will remain the most popular outlet between now and 2014.
Figures from Gartner show that it accounted for almost nine out of ten app downloads last year.
This comes after a report by comScore revealed that a growing number of mobile phone owners in the US are using their handsets to access their emails.