updated 03:45 pm EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Google marks milestone at billion apps per month
In sync with its 10-cent app promo, Google has confirmed that Android Market has cracked 10 billion app downloads. The figure comes just over three years after the store opened. Nearly all of the growth came in just the last year, about four billion of which came in the past six months.
The average rate of expansion was now a billion downloads per month, Google's Android Developer Ecosystem head Eric Chu said. He clarified the promo and noted that the 10 apps on sale for 10 cents each would stay at that price for the next 10 days.
Its rate puts it roughly a year behind Apple, which crossed 10 billion iOS downloads in January. Apple's current progress isn't clear; it saw 18 billion in October and hasn't updated since, although it's likely to be at or near 20 billion.
Its rate hints that Android users are still less likely to download apps. Most of the recent growth rate has come from sheer market share, where Android is now the majority platform. Apple had an earlier start but hasn't been growing nearly as quickly in the past year. The company's dominance of tablets may play a large role, as any Android device outside of a smartphone currently sells in very low numbers.