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Thread: Android App Market Outpaces Apple Apps - May Overtake by 2012

  1. Editor in Chief
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    #1

    Android App Market Outpaces Apple Apps - May Overtake by 2012


    Even though Apple has far more apps in their market than Android does, 350,000 Apple apps to 88,000 Android Apps, a new report from the mobile security firm 'Lookout', indicates that Android Apps are growing at a rate 3 times faster than Apple Apps. Since August, apps in Apple’s store increased just 44% while Android apps increased by 127%. Lookout's Chief Technology Officer Kevin Mahaffey, had this to say, “If apps continue to be developed for each platform at this same rate, the Android Market will have more apps than the Apple App Store by mid-2012.”

    In reference to paid apps, the CNET article had this to say,
    Apple may have a higher percentage of paid apps but the number is rising on Android - from 22 percent of the total to 34 percent since August, while the number of paid apps in the Apple App Store declined slightly, from 70 percent of the total to 66 percent.
    Interestingly, there is a disparity that would seem to subvert this rapid growth when you look at the number of developers for each market. There are still more developers heading to Apple. Between August 2010 and February 2011, The Apple App Store attracted nearly 23,000 additional developers, but the Android Market attracted only 4,000 additional developers. This disparity ends up being explained when you find out that the average number of apps submitted per developer is less for the Apple Store than for the Android Market; For Apple Apps the average is 4.8, but for the Android Market it is 6.6.

    It's possible that the new changes for developers that Google implemented to the Market, like in-app purchases, might end up accelerating this growth. Is there any market that 'Andy' can't eventually dominate?

    Source: AndroidTablets.net via SlashGear and CNET via Lookout
    Last edited by dgstorm; 02-17-2011 at 12:21 PM.
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    OK, not sure who's been smoking what...but let me break this down for all the non-math types: % growth is next to irrelevant here. Percent only matters when you look at the "base" or starting point for each company. For example, if Android went from 100 apps at time 1, to 1000 at time 2, it would be a case of 900% growth, which sounds incredible. Or in absolute terms, 900 new apps, which is a lot less impressive.

    So because Android's starting point is so much lower than Apple's, a percent comparison is the wrong statistic.

    The correct one is even easier and requires no math: look at where each line is pointed (i.e, slope), and extend it out into the future. Anyone with a 4th-grade education will tell you that--based on two samples of data--Android WILL NEVER overtake Apple. (Oh, and extrapolating over two timepoints out to 2012 is an even sillier mistake.)

    Of course they will. Android rocks and Android rules. But this chart does not help the cause.

    End of rant.

    -Matt
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetrants View Post
    OK, not sure who's been smoking what...but let me break this down for all the non-math types: % growth is next to irrelevant here. Percent only matters when you look at the "base" or starting point for each company. For example, if Android went from 100 apps at time 1, to 1000 at time 2, it would be a case of 900% growth, which sounds incredible. Or in absolute terms, 900 new apps, which is a lot less impressive.

    So because Android's starting point is so much lower than Apple's, a percent comparison is the wrong statistic.

    The correct one is even easier and requires no math: look at where each line is pointed (i.e, slope), and extend it out into the future. Anyone with a 4th-grade education will tell you that--based on two samples of data--Android WILL NEVER overtake Apple. (Oh, and extrapolating over two timepoints out to 2012 is an even sillier mistake.)

    Of course they will. Android rocks and Android rules. But this chart does not help the cause.

    End of rant.

    -Matt
    Didn't read your post much, but I think I agree totally. I thought this was the most ridiculous claim based on the evidence provided. I mean, hell, I could take the Jax App Store that grew from 1 app to 20 apps in that same period. That means I'm doing TONS better than both of them, right? Jeesh!

    That said, I don't think total number of apps says anything about the quality of the app store. I'm pretty happy with the Android offering even if it's only got half the total number of apps in it. Another useless stat once you reach a certain point.
    Last edited by Jaxidian; 02-17-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxidian View Post
    Didn't read your post much, but I think I agree totally. I thought this was the most ridiculous claim based on the evidence provided. I mean, hell, I could take the Jax App Store that grew from 1 app to 20 apps in that same period. That means I'm doing TONS better than both of them, right? Jeesh!

    That said, I don't think total number of apps says anything about the quality of the app store. I'm pretty happy with the Android offering even if it's only got half the total number of apps in it. Another useless stat once you reach a certain point.
    Thanks! And I agree. Until there is some kind of way to measure app quality, why does total number matter? How about total number divided by number of users? By number of devices? I think the intuition is that "it's good for the consumer to have competition," so instead of hoping that Android "wins" maybe we can just hope that both continue to do well.

    -Matt
    Meaning of gadgetrants:
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    I would go back and add this to my OP, but since I can't edit it:

    I want to make sure it doesn't sound like I "blamed the messenger." My complaint about the news/data wasn't directed at dgstorm (who I'm sure is a nice, intelligent person) but Lookout, who published these "numbers."

    Of course, it's possible that the curves are just labeled wrong, and Android really is on top. In which case, I'd apologize for complaining!

    -Matt
    Meaning of gadgetrants:
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetrants View Post
    I would go back and add this to my OP, but since I can't edit it:

    I want to make sure it doesn't sound like I "blamed the messenger." My complaint about the news/data wasn't directed at dgstorm (who I'm sure is a nice, intelligent person) but Lookout, who published these "numbers."

    Of course, it's possible that the curves are just labeled wrong, and Android really is on top. In which case, I'd apologize for complaining!

    -Matt
    Thanks for the qualification Matt! It was appreciated although unnecessary. I understood that your "soapbox" was not directed at my reporting, and I'm sure other members would too.

    I can't blame you either... sometimes, the stuff I report just gets me heated too. In fact, sometimes I am not quite as objective as I should be, but I struggle to make things interesting as well as informative. Also, that picture they provided was confusing to me too. It doesn't match with their data.

    At any rate, thanks again for your consideration, and thanks again for sharing your thoughts in the forums. This forum is your (and every member's place) to let your perspective be heard. That is, after-all, what a 'forum' is for. Without you sharing your ideas, 'DF' wouldn't be here.

    Make it a great day!
    dgstorm
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    Haha, I've got a little over 100 apps on my phone, most of which are rarely used. Sure, the number of apps is a decent proxy for the relative portion of good apps available, but if you have one very good messaging app 10 or even 100 alternatives doesn't really make one market superior.

    Not to mention, how many of us have apps only because it's cool or neat to show-off but really have no need or desire to use it (raises hand)? I mean, Shopsavvy is a great and handy little app, but I'll be damned if I'm going to scan a box of cereal and then drive across town to save 25 cents.
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    Aw man, why'dya have to use Shopsavvy as an example? I'm a cheap bastard, and so while I don't drive across town to save 25 cents, I do use it a lot while shopping (in department-store type places). Typically what happens is I'm at a place like Barnes&Noble or Kohls or BestBuy, and wonder "Is this cheaper somewhere else?" Whip out the Droid, scan the barcode, and get my answer. It's also super handy for pulling up user reviews.

    App-wise, it's probably one of those toMAYto-toMAHto situations (we each have our own favorites). Just happens to be one of the 5 apps I actually use (raises hand).

    This is a little off-topic, but who owns and uses Vlingo? If you do, open it and ask it, "Vlingo, what is the meaning of life?" I love its answer.

    -Matt
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    Who Cares about the growth...

    I for one think the Apple store is far superior in every avenue at this point. I've owned the 1st Moto Droid, and Incrediable and the X. The one thing I miss is the Apple Store and whats available in their Market. The perfect dream machine to me would be Android Phone with the Itunes Store. They both are full of absolute junk, hundreds of useless fluff and one two many fart apps. By and large the Apple Store offers more and makes your Ipod hard to put down. I'll take a droid any day over an Iphone but if I could I would abandon the adroid market for the itunes store any day of the week.
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    #10
    Given the 3-4 year head start the Apple store has, plus the tight business model that Apple enforces...do you think the Android Market will eventually catch up? Or are the business models (or developer community/culture) so far apart that the differences will stick?

    -Matt
    Meaning of gadgetrants:
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