updated 08:25 am EST, Wed January 4, 2012
Android Market accelerates in just five months
Unofficial Distimo tracking has shown Android Market already at over 400,000 active apps. The figure comes just four months after it reached 300,000 in August. Nearly 100,000 publishers are in the store, each of which posts about 4.1 apps on average.
The rate of growth was catching up to Apple's, Distimo found. Apple got to 200,000 apps much faster, at 22 months to 31, but it only took the four months between April and August this year for Google to make 300,000, twice as quick as Apple's eight. The iOS App Store took seven months more to get to 400,000.
Apple is still ahead in absolute app count, at over 500,000 officially and believed in 148Apps metrics to be over 543,000 as of Wednesday.
Android still faced a mounting problem with a hesitance to pay for content, Distimo showed. The ratio of free apps to paid only increased in 2011, from 60 percent being free in April to 68 percent by the end of the year. The use of "freemium" apps that lean on in-app purchases was credited with the spike, although Apple's store is still more successful in this area in getting about six times the revenue across both freemium and purely paid apps.
Developers like Angry Birds' Rovio Mobile or Cut the Rope's ZeptoLab have often explained choosing the freemium model on Android as a reaction both to that reluctance to pay as well as to rampant piracy. Other developers, such as Epic Games and id Software, stay out of Android altogether due to both the piracy and the splintered development environment.