January 4, 2012 | by Adrian Diaconescu
If there’s anyone who doubted Android’s growing popularity during these last months, the recent news we got from Distimo should put things in order. According to the Dutch-based research company, Google’s Android Market has reached 400,000 available apps a few days ago and should hit 100,000 active contributing developers soon enough.
The numbers, while unofficial and not from Google, are pretty huge if we look at them on their own. But if you take into consideration their evolution during 2011, things get even more impressive. The Android Market has doubled in size since last April, mostly due to the increase of free applications. While the percentage of free content in April 2011 was of 60% from the total number of available apps, by the end of last year the rate had increased to 68 percent, meaning that more than two thirds of all Android Market content today is free of charge.
In Distimo’s report, we get a very interesting comparative look at the Android Market and Apple’s App Store as well, which confirms what we already knew for a while. Both Google and Apple are growing in popularity and the mobile market is practically monopolized by the two.
Apple’s App Store hit 400,000 available apps in June 2011, which is half a year earlier than the Android Market, but on the other hand the App Store’s progress has not been as impressive as Android Market’s increase during last year.
The Android Market only needed eight months to double in size from 200,000 available apps to 400K, while the App Store for iPhone needed no less than 15 months to pass from one milestone to the other. Considering this data and improvement rate, it’s fair to predict that before the end of 2012, Google’s Android Market might surpass its competitor in terms of number of available apps.
As far as contributing developers go, the Android Market is very close of hitting the 100,000 milestone, with each active developer publishing 4.1 applications on average. While again we are faced with pretty impressive numbers, it has to be said that a year ago every active developer published nearly five apps on average, which means that some of the contributors have gotten lazy.