Android Market poised to overtake App Store in August

Reports predict Android Market will have more total apps than the Apple App Store this summer

When it comes to apps, Android seems to be running faster than Apple can roll. New research predicts the total number of apps in the Android Market will overtake Apple's App Store in August 2011.

A report from German firm Research2guidance finds that although it started slow, the Android Market's growth has accelerated to eclipse Apple's App Store, with 28,000 new Android apps uploaded in April alone, compared to the App Store's 11,000. Research2guidance's most recent figures show the Android Market has a total of 294,738 apps as of May 1, nipping at the heels of the App Store's 381,062. The report extrapolates the April figures over coming months to predict that the Android Market will speed past the App Store in total number of apps around the 425,000 mark in August.

While this analysis may not be completely independent of bias (the report credits AndroidPIT), the prediction of a summer change in overall app leader is backed up by another recent report.

Research2guidance also makes some other points. It notes that only 36 per cent of apps for Android are paid, compared to over 60 per cent in other app stores. It also makes light of significant growth in the number of games uploaded to the Android Market, with nearly 5,000 new titles added in April alone.

Conspicuously absent from the report is any mention of the different protocols and review process used by Apple and Google's Android for approval of apps. Apple's notoriously tighter standards make the Android Market an easier target for sub-par apps, copycat apps, and even malicious apps. Android fans, on the other hand, argue that more openness simply encourages development of more apps.

This news comes the same week as another report, which shows that, despite the rapid growth in the Android Market, Apple is poised to retain the lion's share of revenue from app sales for the next few years. That report predicted Apple would enjoy more than three-quarters of total revenues in the overall app market by the end of 2011, and would retain at least a 60 per cent share as far out as 2014.

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Eric Mack

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