Google Inc is planning to hire dozens of software developers to create applications for smartphones and other mobile devices, a new strategy aimed partly at helping internet search giant counter Apple Inc in one of high tech’s hottest sectors.

Attributing to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google plans to hire dozens of software developers to create applications for smartphones and other mobile devices.

The internet company has begun recruiting software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and others who have ideas for mobile applications, the report noted.

Besides, some current Google employees have changed jobs to work on the effort, it added.

According to the publication, Benjamin Ling, a Google product management director, has been leading recruiting efforts.

World-wide revenue from mobile applications is expected to triple this year to $15.1 billion, including paid downloads and advertising revenue generated by free applications, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Besides the potential of making money directly from such creations, more and better applications can help devices powered by Google’s Android operating system continue to gain ground on Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

The Google software is still playing catch-up when it comes to applications. Android users can access an online market with more than 1,00,000 applications available for download, but Apple’s app store has more than 3,50,000 applications.

Google executives in October said the company was on track to generate $1 billion a year in mobile-related revenue, Besides, the company had last week said it planned to hire more than 6,000 employees this year.