updated 07:00 pm EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Distimo sees Android app count past iOS in 2011
Android Market is growing quickly enough that it could have a larger app count than the iOS App Store in five months, Distimo estimated in its April update. Researchers believed Google's store had swelled 16 percent in March to hit 206,143 active apps where Apple's shop, though larger, had grown just six percent to 333,214 active titles. The gap could close to 40,000 apps by the end of June and close entirely by July.
Android already had more free apps, at 134,342 versus 121,845, Distimo said.
Few explanations were given for the changeover apart from developers no longer being single-platform. About 58 percent of the top fifty developers writing just for the iPad were already writing for at least one non-Apple mobile OS. Android's position at 37 percent of US smartphone share likely also played a part by encouraging support for a now larger platform. The proportion of paid apps was far lower on Android, however, suggesting fewer were making money directly from their apps.
RIM was engineering its own small coup, as BlackBerry App World was likely to be larger than Nokia's Ovi Store by late May.
The predictions were potentially called into question by official figures from both Apple and Google. The App Store officially passed 350,000 active apps months earlier and, based on companion checks by 148Apps, should have over 373,300 apps active as of this writing. Google has also remained conspicuously silent on Android's app count after the 120,000 figure and may have significantly less than Distimo's estimate without any follow-up figures.
Distimo also acknowledged that growth rates could change from month to month and that the rate wasn't necessarily steady.