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Android Market cracks 20,000 apps

updated 10:25 am EST, Tue December 15, 2009

Android trails App Store but catching up quickly

Google's Android Market has passed the 20,000 app mark after just over a year, according to stats tracking the mobile store for AndroLib. Having just passed the 10,000-app mark in September, the portal has already doubled that number in the past three months as the number of new apps each month has grown steadily. A sharp spike in November saw 3,544 apps published on the Market, a jump of more than 34 percent over just the month before.

Of the mix, about 38 percent are paid apps while the rest is free.

No direct explanation has been given for the rush, though wider availability of Android phones like the HTC Hero in mid-year may have helped as it provided a much larger base for Android development. The Motorola Droid, while arguably the most popular Android phone to date, only launched November 6th and is unlikely to have had much short-term impact on Android software.

Expansion at such levels still trails that of Apple's iPhone App Store; within a year of its own opening, the App Store already had 65,000 apps. However, Android had been hindered for its first several months by a very limited number of devices as well as a Market design that didn't significantly encourage paid apps. It wasn't until the late introduction of Android 1.6 and later 2.0 that Google redesigned Android Market to more readily showcase paid and otherwise more professional apps. [via MobileCrunch]

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android is really churning out f*** apps

    by the thousands. I wonder if all the Android apps are going to be of higher quality than what's on the iPhone platform. I constantly hear that 98% of the App Store apps are useless, so I wonder how the Android platform is faring. Only 97% of the Android apps are useless, I suppose because the Android platform offers more freedom to developers. Since anything goes, I guess some of the apps must be pretty diverse but there might be a lot of trojan and malware apps too, if no one is keeping track of what is uploaded. I'm curious to see how disruptive apps are going to be handled without a gatekeeper.

  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2009


    Hobbyist Platform

    Obviously, the developers of those 20,000 apps didn't read Prince McLean's article in AppleInsider that claimed that the Android latform is only for "hobbyist shareware developers".

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And Unique Apps?

    Ok, on the AppStore there are a lot of lite and full versions, making the 100K+ number about.. say, 60K unique apps?

    On the Android Market you need to make one for each different handset and even maybe for different Android OS versions. So, how many Unique Apps do they have? I would guess 5K is a high number! Unless, ofcource the number is Unique Apps - but I highly doubt that!

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    First impressions matter

    One lesson that no one seems to learn from Apple is they made sure to launch their app store AFTER they lined up a healthy and impressive collection of apps and games. Not to mention they already had a healthy web-app and widget community prior to the App Store. The touchscreen johnny-come-latelys are all jumping into the market starting with ZERO. Regardless of how fast you grow, people don't forget that ZERO first impression.

    If you start a store with nothing on the shelves (even in the spirit of openness) people walk away with the impression that you didn't care enough to welcome them. Which is the exact opposite of the impression that Apple always gives - people have come to expect that Apple cares about EVERY detail (even if to a fault).
    When it comes to spending their hard-earned money, guess which impression people prefer?

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Michael - it really depends on what the revenue levels are - I'm not seeing much evidence of Android being a popular platform for games publishers, for instance, and - so far - the revenue levels are far lower per device than the iPhone market.

    The iPhone market itself can't sustain the current level of 'professional' (as opposed to hobbyist) development either. There is an over-supply of cheap software.

    What is naive is thinking that it's a 'platform' problem that can be solved - the problem is the lack of people willing to pay for software compared to the number who want to write it for money.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does your comment make any sense anymore? Did you just copy and paste it from something you wrote over a year ago? Android now has over 20,000 apps, not ZERO. Not to mention what do apple's widgets (that don't work on the iphone) have to do with the iphone? Your arguments are bogus.

    If there is a company that is king at providing quality, free software it's google. You're in for a shock if you think they are going to struggle in this department.

  1. Cbrguy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who cares?

    I just switched over to a Hero on sprint from WinMo. If there were only 500 apps that were first class do everything you want and more apps, I'd rather have those then 20k, 30k, 100k cheesy apps. I guess if there are more apps out people will figure a certain percentage are "good", so the more apps the better.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Professional apps? Afraid not

    Number of professional developers quit making Android apps already because Android users don't pay for apps.

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I really hope you don't use a PC.

    Because your argument there is the same argument that Mac users have been using against PCs for YEARS!

    Why do I need 100 applications that do the same thing when there are 2 on the Mac that do them really, really well.

    I'm just saying, it's funny how these things keep coming back to the surface.


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