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]