Number of Available Android Apps To Surpass Apple in August

The Android OS, which recently vaulted into the No. 1 spot in terms of smartphone sales, is poised to reach another milestone in August: the mobile platform with the greatest number of available apps.

The analyst firm research2guidance made that estimate based on the fact Android is growing more than twice as fast as app leader iOS, from Apple. For instance, 28,000 new apps were added to the Android marketplace in April, compared to 11,000 for iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad.

At that pace, Android users will be able to choose from more than 425,000 apps, eclipsing iOS, which currently has more than 381,000 apps. As of early May, Android neared 300,000 total apps. Although both platforms enjoy healthy growth, research2guidance numbers suggest a stronger continuing upward curve for Android.

Android has a number of advantages, including a much wider range of available smartphones and providers, along with more marketplaces. For Google, however, those benefits are becoming a two-edged sword: Recent studies show that interest among developers in building Android apps has leveled off a bit, although it remains strong. Much of the blame for the drop in enthusiasm is due to the well-publicized fragmentation problem, causing Google to flex its muscles in order to get a grip on the situation.

Even with the growth of the app market, making money on Android isn’t getting any easier for developers, according to the report. "This does not necessarily mean that the chance for an average developer to generate revenue on that platform has grown as well," it states. The popular apps will still generate lots of revenue for those companies, but the "white noise" quotient has grown at the same time.

To combat this, research2guidance suggests that developers focus on niche development and marketing, including uploading apps into niche categories instead of broad ones, and finding niche marketplaces which have less competition.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.