In what seems like just a few months, Android has rose from mythical mobile software to the top operating system in the world. For just over two years, we have watched Android grow and adapt in several different ways. Recently, Google has been pushing for more application support and vowed to make Android Market a better place for everyone. Market has come a long way over the past six months, and it makes me wonder what that means for Apple's App Store. Will Android Market surpass the App Store, too?

App Store has been a thorn in Android's side since the very beginning. The little green robot sat in the shadow of the iOS and its application store for a long time. Recently though, things have changed. Android has become home to more and more high quality games and applications, many of them from popular developers for iOS.

Back in October of last year, App Store breached the 300,000 mark in applications available. At the same time, Android sat at 100,000 applications. By the end of December, it hit yet another milestone, 200,000 applications. It's been a while since we've heard any official numbers on either, but I think it's safe to say that Apple's store is sitting well over 300,000 (400,000+ according to Wikipedia, though the sources don't exactly check out) apps now. Unofficially, AndroLib is reporting 237,226 apps for Android.

I do know one thing, in sheer terms of numbers, Android is gaining on the App Store, and fairly quick. I have no doubt that the number of applications on Android will eventually surpass that of App Store. That said, there are some things worth noting:

  • Android Market is home to more than just “applications” – Market is full of widgets, launcher replacement themes, live wallpapers, and several other downloadables that the App Store has no use for.
  • Paid versus free – Android Market is filled to the brim with free, ad-supported applications. People on Android seem less prone to buying applications. App Store has far less free applications available. Typically, you can expect higher quality out of paid applications, which leads to my next point.
  • Quality over quantity – Android may have a few hundred thousand applications, but many of them are of low quality. There are some diamonds in the rough; but more often than not, you will download an application with dull graphics or other issues. App Store has a plethora of useless and low quality apps, too, though far less common. Also, both stores fall victim to a number of duplicate apps, which just boost numbers rather than adding any significance.
  • Games – App Store is notorious for the thousands of brilliant and addictive games available. Android, not so much. As of late, there have been some changes. I've noticed an influx of several decent games in Market. It has taken some time, but Market is shaping up to be quite the gaming platform. Add PlayStation Suite to the mix, and Apple has some serious competition.
  • Tablets – App Store is home to many tablet-specific versions of applications and separate applications for phones. There are also many that are designed to run on both. From Andy Rubin's explanation at D: Dive Into Mobile and the current way Android Market is set up, applications will likely be designed to run on both tablets and phones. However, if Android tablets and phone OS versions split, we may see tablet-only applications, too.

So yes, I believe Android Market, in due time, will surpass App Store in the number of applications. There are limitless widgets, live wallpapers, and other tinkertoys for Android developers to come up with where iOS devs dare not venture. However, there is room for growth within the current apps that Android will have to experience before Market can truly surpass the App Store. With application sales revenue predicted to hit $27 billion by 2013, you can bet your bottom dollar that ol' Goog and Apple are suiting up for the fight of the century. The question is, who will get to take home the title?

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92 Reactions to this post

"Will Android Market surpass the App Store?"

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Charles Phillips
Charles Phillips No matter how slice it, Android DOES everything you ask it to. And reason that it DOES(will) have a lot of apps is because more people desire freedom to do what they want to with their $500-$600 devices. As far as junk apps go, plenty of Android users can pick and choose from the bunch instead of a single person saying you can only choose what i allow you to on the IOS. By the way...DROID X..everyday baby!!!
Oscar Zavala
Oscar Zavala Oh yeah totally!!
Zach Cline
Zach Cline I love my droid incredible but android market blows. Too many junk apps.
William Smith
William Smith No to many different devices. Need games to work right on each device.
Josh Foster
Josh Foster If it were just android phones vs iPhone yes but as long as the ipad and iPod are around I highly doubt. Regardless android is the best os ever imaginable.
John Cruz
John Cruz Yes it will because apple is the same and android is getting newer
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz Yes, eas
Matt Peters
Matt Peters No.
Justin Medina
Justin Medina Ohhhh hell yeah
Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez Of course !!! No question.
Angel Miguel Peguero
Angel Miguel Peguero Yes
Hussain N Al Qatari
Hussain N Al Qatari i don't think really .. but what i know that android market place haves everything you need
Victor N Perez
Victor N Perez it can
Jack Hastings
Jack Hastings YES.
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor At some point yes. In terms if the sheer amount of apps available, the Android Market is rapidly gaining in the app store. But it'll probably be a while until the quality of Android Market apps rival those of the app store.
Rick Jackson
Rick Jackson Just a little more "I own the world" from Apple and I will trash my iPhone altogether! Book reader Apps cannot sell me eBooks?
Sean McCollum
Sean McCollum I think developers are finally realizing that android is a force to be reckoned with and are finally bringing games over from the iOS platform. Surpass? Probably not. Match? Yes.
Laurence Kit de Castro
Laurence Kit de Castro highly probable.. android's developer community is expanding, android marketplace does not censor apps unlike the appstore,
Sanchez Edgardo
Sanchez Edgardo Freedom is a killa and Android is freedom.
Samuel Kofi Mireku
Samuel Kofi Mireku Yes! More freedom
Warren LB A
Warren LB A I find it interesting the yes / no / nope answer without a reason. I bleive that is the defitiontion of "fanboy". Now here is the simple reason why they will and always have more apps then Apple: Google does not censor apps like Apple does,unless it does harm (virus). I rather see crapy apps with advertistements, and know that the company (in this case Google) treat us like adults and gives us the power of choice. Also it isn't tied down to the bad software known as Itunes.
Harrison James White
Harrison James White No
Ryan Edwards
Ryan Edwards Yes. Just b.c android doesnt have all the 1000 diff. Fart apps, android is creeping on apples market and is going to surpass apple. Apple is going to burn out trying to keep up w android. DROID is taking over!!
Caleb Mott
Caleb Mott Nope
David Hilgendorf
David Hilgendorf Most definite. I've been using sense the g1 was the only one on the market and to see where the OS has gone and the how the market has grown in the few years is awesome. Will only get even better this year and next year with all these awesome treats coming our way.
En Chee
En Chee Apple cant play flash and hence it sucks. Apple fanboys miss out a lot of things
João Pantaleão
João Pantaleão Yes.
Roman Vinsonhaler
Roman Vinsonhaler Possibly, only if the iPhone doen't branch out to other carriers. I have an android. But would much prefer an iPhone.
Faryal Mallick
Faryal Mallick yes!
Gainaako Munyal
Gainaako Munyal The problem with Apple is plain and simple. If there is a similar app in their store even if it is better than the first one, they will not allow it in their app store. The restrictions set by Apple are too stupid.
Victor Rios
Victor Rios Oh no doubt...the iPhone is old news. Every Android phone that comes out is different and runs on different manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc. that's why I love Android.
Brian Soberano
Brian Soberano I thought it did
Alan Sandoval
Alan Sandoval So much nitwits mad cause an iphone or an ipod isnt shit anymore. They think that just becsuse they have an expensive piece of shit theyre better.
Alvaro Valdez Gonzalez
Alvaro Valdez Gonzalez lo hara androide pasara muy facil a las app de apple sorry pero es la verdad ;)
Dwight L. Burton
Dwight L. Burton Yes, but they need to clean it up. Fix the market app. It force closes way too much. Add competition to the app developers and more incentives for better apps. LESS ADVERTISEMENT.
Ricardo Contreras Jr.
Ricardo Contreras Jr. Cornbread
Joseph Alan Richardson
Joseph Alan Richardson Yes, I hate app store. I had to go through a million steps just to download a torch app for my iPod. First it says "are you sure you want to install" me: "yes..." Appstore: "You have to accept the terms of..." Me: "OK!" Appstore: Sorry the account you entered is not valid. I know for a fact that its valid because I just changed the password on the email and just used it to download some music on iTune. I HATE APP STORE! All hail Android Market!
John Jackson
John Jackson hasn't it already?
Cool Mutha Flipping Kevo
Cool Mutha Flipping Kevo apple has tons of apps. yes and believe me more than half are "useless just cause apps" i go back and forth about apple an android all day. i have an EVO! have owned iphones swear by the ipod but the fact is android is king of the hill right now who's to say how long 1 million apps don't mean you have the best phone it just means all the attention is somewhere else what is most important is making an receiving calls an say what you want the iphone 4 sucks at that an apple has no respect for their millions of fanboys but hey keep on loving what doesn't love you back.. DROID!!!!!!!!!!
Patrick Scot
Patrick Scot ofcourse they will they already surpassed every other OS to be the #1 selling os so the appstore is just another mountain android will walk over
Edward Madera
Edward Madera It already has! ;)
Nelson H Cabrera Jr
Nelson H Cabrera Jr Yes it will
Casandra Dickey Clark
Casandra Dickey Clark It depends on what you mean, quantity vs quality. The App Store may have fewer apps available, but the quality of the apps is much better. Android Market has an overwhelming amount of junk apps and **adult content** apps. Android needs to have better censoring and/or better filtering options.
Bobby McNelis Jr.
Bobby McNelis Jr. Never...still disappointed!
Andrew Tsukuda
Andrew Tsukuda Ya
Brandon Cupz Carozza
Brandon Cupz Carozza Yes domination of Android will commence on Crapple products!
Claudiu Madalin
Claudiu Madalin The quality of the apps on the android market is still terrible. I would rather have quality than quantity.
Muhamad Zein
Muhamad Zein Yeah they probably will. Half of the apps will be soundboards and fart apps.
Renganathan Krishnamoorthy Sarma
Renganathan Krishnamoorthy Sarma For sure.. its open sourced and with millions of devolopers all around the world its just a step away from engulfing the apple dominance.
Mark Gittens
Mark Gittens No doubt! apple is trash!!!!!
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows Yes
Keith Windiddy
Keith Windiddy when Google removes the 15 mins return period for paid apps
Mohit Chind
Mohit Chind May be...
Stephone Allison
Stephone Allison He'll to the no!!
Enrique Pascual
Enrique Pascual Haha no
Esa Edvik
Esa Edvik Quantity wise easily cause of apples restrictions, but quality wise probably not.
Ismail F Adiputra
Ismail F Adiputra It will definitely.. especially when more and more developers and consumers get on board..
Ryan Artolachipe
Ryan Artolachipe Without a doubt
Cody Sulouff
Cody Sulouff Yea it will, but only because there are duplicate apps on the android market aswell as malicious ones.. Apple has a better app market
Brandon Campbell
Heike Sellers
Heike Sellers easily
Lee Hopkins
Lee Hopkins i am sure it will, however i feel it will be a usless 'passing' as a good portion of the apps on the Market are 'trial runs' or 'first attempts' or unsupported. But all things considered it is nice to see apple getting some worthwhile competition. especially being the competition is android. (not perfect but an awesome alternative, esp for 'garage' style dev.s)
Aldo GaGaism
Aldo GaGaism No way
Stephen M. Knipe II
Stephen M. Knipe II Of course, it is inevitable
Jamie Hauck
Jamie Hauck i hope so!
Armando Campos
Armando Campos Nah
Chris Toliver
Chris Toliver You already know it will. It's just a matter of time.
Cristian Vasquez
Cristian Vasquez Yep
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras 2 years or less, in quality and number..
Jacob Meloche
Jacob Meloche Never.
Maria G Martell
Maria G Martell It already has!
Rafael Guzman
Rafael Guzman It is possible depending on the developers. Android is iPhone's biggest competitor
Jay Svoboda
Jay Svoboda Yap :)
Chris Cole
Chris Cole The reason the Android market is growing so fast is because anyone can go make some crappy useless app and put it in the store. Apple weeds out the trash. The quality of almost all Android apps lags way far behind the apps for iOS.
Hayden Lefley
Hayden Lefley No way!
Chung Yew
Chung Yew Of course.. even if Google decides to vet all apps, it'll win Apple store in quick time.. fragmentation is power..
Anonymous Itll be a close for a while I bet
Omar Lmt
Omar Lmt Fuck Yes! R Games R Getting Better.
Chris Herzog
Chris Herzog yessssss
Gerard Anaya
Gerard Anaya Yuuuuuup!!!
Jake Jamrozik
Jake Jamrozik Hells yeah.
Optional Waffle
Optional Waffle Of course it will!
Ivan Woods
Ivan Woods Yes, definitely
Willis P Nguyen
Willis P Nguyen Yup!
Jose Valladares
Jose Valladares We don't need trillions of USELESS apps.
Christopher Wesley
Christopher Wesley In time
Adrian RhaRoo
Adrian RhaRoo its only a matter of time. its a no brainer :)
Christopher Pena
Christopher Pena Hell yes.
Steve Griffith
Steve Griffith sure hope so, apple sux
Gary Tan
Gary Tan Of course! :)
Kevin Regitz
Kevin Regitz Oh Yeah!!!
Kerleem Shah
Kerleem Shah never.

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