We watched Google's
open source Android
platform grow up
right before our eyes, hitting several milestones along the way to maturity. However, there's still one more milestone yet to cross, and that's becoming the world's most dominant mobile app platform, a throne that's currently occupied by Apple and it's competing iOS
platform. The next milestone isn't all that far away.
Apple in May announced
that iOS users have collectively downloaded 50 billion apps to their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices to date, and that its App Store is sitting strong with over 850,000 apps. Shortly after, Google announced at Google I/O that Android users have downloaded 48 billion apps to date, just 2 billion shy of Apple. And if you lok at AppBrain's data
, there are nearly 717,000 Android apps to choose from.
That's the situation now, but with Google boasting 2.5 billion Android downloads per month, analysts at Asymco and Enders Analysis believe Google will dethrone Apple in total app downloads within the next few months, the Financial Times
"The [download] rate for [Google] Play is higher so I would imagine it will have a higher total in a few months if not sooner," Horace Dediu of Asymco said.
More than just bragging rights, app downloads translate into revenue. In addition, developers tend to spend more time building apps for the most popular platform, though even if Android does leapfrog iOS, it's not as though Apple users will stop seeing new apps.