Google Android app downloads surpass 10bn

08/12/2011

Google smartphone app downloads from its Android Market have surpassed the 10 billion mark and are growing fast, with a current growth rate standing at 1 billion downloads per month. Google played down claims that the platform lags Apple in terms of monetisation, saying: “Many developers have found developing for Android to be profitable and we’re seeing more and more of them choose to launch apps and features on Android first.”

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In a blog post on Tuesday, Google saisd that 10 billion apps have been downloaded from Android Market since it launched in 2008, up from 6bn in June.

The current growth rate stands at 1bn apps per month. Downloads of apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 trail by a considerable distance.

Mobile developers say that Google still lags far behind Apple in generating revenue from apps, in spite of Android’s much larger user base.

In October, Apple said that iOS customers had downloaded 18bn apps – a run-rate of 1bn a month – on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, over a longer period than Google’s total. Apple has more than 200m customers’ payment details, far ahead of its rivals, thanks to its longstanding iTunes music and film download service.

Android-based phones overtook Apple’s iPhone in global smartphone market share in the first half of 2010. In the third quarter of 2011, Android was the operating system in 52.5 per cent of smartphones sold globally, compared with Apple’s 15 per cent, BlackBerry’s 11 per cent and Microsoft’s 1.5 per cent, according to Gartner, a research group.

But analysts believe that, on average, Apple users download twice as many apps as Android owners.

That suggests that iPhone buyers are more active and engaged users, while customers choose Android because its devices are less expensive.

To celebrate this milestone, Google has partnered with some of the Android developers who contributed to this milestone. Over the next week, Google is offering select apps available each day for only 10 cents each.

Read the official Google blog here

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