A new report from Research2Guidance, a mobile market research firm, states that the Android Market is closing the gap on its counterpart, Apple’s App Store, by reaching an all-time high of 500,000 app submissions.
But there’s still a lot of work to be done in the Android market for it to be comparable to Apple’s app store, which boasts a whopping 600,000 published apps. These numbers are a bit misleading, however, as an app submission and even publication doesn’t mean it will be available indefinitely. In fact, as Research2Guidance notes in their report, about 37% of all Android apps have been removed whereas only 24% of apps in the Apple store have been taken out. These deletions can be for a number of reasons such as failure on behalf of the publisher to update its app to match the platform’s current operation system (like iOS 5 or the new OS for the Android, Android 4.0.) So in reality, taking in to account only the live apps, the comparison is as follows: Android- 319,161 vs. Apple-459,589.
While these numbers are really impressive, especially considering that the Android OS didn’t go live until a year after iOS, don’t forget to take a little grain of salt. Some of the huge growth in the Android market may be because of the fundamental difference in the way the two operating systems publish apps. Android app developers can be much more prolific in app submissions because Google allows any app on its market whereas Apple has a rigorous approval process before it allows anything into it’s app store. And to Apple’s credit, they are still top dog considering what should be a limitation for them.
But looking at the growth in the Android market, Apple’s app store might be overtaken before too long as these two giants keep battling over the title of “largest app provider.”