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Pokemon Go may give Apple $3 billion boost

Small biz profiting from Pokemon Go

The rich get richer? One Wall Street analyst thinks that the biggest beneficiary of Pokemon Go mania won't be Nintendo. It will be Apple, which is already the most valuable company in America.

Laura Martin of Needham & Co. wrote in a report Wednesday that Apple (AAPL, Tech30) could generate $3 billion in revenue over the next 18 to 24 months from the game.

Apple -- as well as Android owner Google (GOOGL, Tech30) and wireless carriers -- get a cut from sales of in-app purchases made by people playing Pokemon Go. The game itself is free to download.

Nintendo is benefiting since it owns a stake in both the Pokemon Company, which licenses the characters, as well as the privately-held game developer Niantic.

Martin said the success of Pokemon Go could lead to more so-called augmented reality games (i.e. a touch of virtual reality in a...