Google has seen a spike in apps being submitted to its Android Marketplace following the launch of Motorola’s Droid, but it still lags behing Apple
Google’s Android Marketplace has hit the 20,000 applications mark just over a year after its launch in October 2008. The data, compiled by AndroLib, shows that the number of new applications and games contributed to the app store each month has been steadily increasing, with 3,544 contributed in November alone.
Of the 20,000 apps in the Android Marketplace, around two thirds are free. The majority have been downloaded 50 times or less, with fewer than five percent having been downloaded more than 50,000 times. Eighty percent are non-gaming, and almost half of reviewers give their chosen apps five stars out of five, with only 17 percent carrying a one-star rating.
Android mobile platform’s success has been largely driven by the launch of Motorola’s Droid smartphone – or Milestone as it is known in Europe. Earlier this month, Time magazine placed the device at the top of its 2009 “Top 10 Gadgets” list. When mobile network Verizon launched the Droid on 5 November in the US, it sold a quarter of a million in the first week. Similarly, when the handset arrived in the UK on Monday, it sold out in hours.
With the US release of Google’s own Nexus One smartphone expected in January, 2010 could bring even more success for Google’s mobile platform and app store. Some have even billed the Nexus as an iPhone-killer. One Google employee described it as “A sexy beast. Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”
However, Google’s Android app market still lags far behind Apple’s App Store, which has closer to 100,000 applications. Earlier this year Apple celebrated reaching the two billion app download milestone. Some commentators say that Google has a lot of catching up to do if it expects to be a serious competitor to Apple.
“The iPhone, despite the issues with AT&T’s pokey 3G network, as very eloquently pointed out by Verizon in its ads, continues to sell like a monster,” said web and technology analyst Om Malik wrote earlier this week. “Google doesn’t have much time and needs to respond fast.”
Although the statistics on Google’s Android Marketplace are unofficial, AndroLib has been tracking Android apps since the launch of the Marketplace. Google does not disclose statistical data related to Android.