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October 26, 2010

Android Market Reaches 100k Apps: Still One-Third Smaller Than Apple's App Store

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor


The good news for users of Google's (News - Alert) Android mobile phone platform is that the Google app store has just reached an impressive milestone: 100,000 apps available in the Android Market. The bad news is that this figure is still only one-third of the 300,000-plus apps boasted by Apple's (News - Alert) App Store.

It has taken the Android Market 20 months from the time of the launch of the first Android phones to meet the 100,000 milestone: four months longer than it took Apple to reach the same marker. Many analysts are wondering about the slower pace, considering it's actually easier to upload an app to the Android (News - Alert) Market than it is to upload one to Apple's App Store.

Noted PC Magazine, “Considering the average time a developer can get an app up in the Android Market is six minutes, compared to at least four days for the App Store, why is Android lagging so much behind Apple? It's not like Google doesn't claim that it activates more Android phones than Apple does iPhones.” That it certainly does.

PC Magazine noted that availability could be part of the problem. Apple sells apps in nearly 100 countries worldwide, compared to Android's 46 countries. Of these 46 countries, only 13 countries can purchase paid apps: the other 33 countries can get only free apps. This lack of a broad international selling market may be why developers are more likely to focus their energies on building apps for Apple's iPhone (News - Alert) instead of Google Android-based phones.

In addition, Apple has shown itself to be consistently better at displaying their apps in their App Store: users can roam the site searching for apps by various categories: name, date added and user ratings for starters, plus see screen shots of the apps. The Android Market, by contrast, is a confusing place, and individuals browsing for apps may be finding it hard to locate what they need. Search capabilities are limited, and not all apps provide screen shots or descriptions longer than 325 words.

To address some of these difficulties, Verizon (News - Alert) and Amazon are both reportedly working on building their own Android app stores, which is expected to further detract developer and user attention from the official Android Market.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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