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Android apps are on the rise. They may hit 5-digit monthly gains in April.  (Source: Android Lib)

The number of paid apps (purple) is also on the rise.  (Source: Android Lib)
Google's app market is exploding with new apps

Android is booming.  It more than doubled its market share last quarter, knocking off Palm for the fourth place spot in the smartphone market.  It stands about one good quarter away from jumping Microsoft and seizing third place, nipping at the heels of second place player Apple.

Apple has long dismissed Android, stating that it simply doesn't have enough apps to compete with the iPhone.  That's quickly changing though.  In July 2009 Google's Android Market was only adding about 1,500 apps a month.  That number has steadily soared upwards and last month, it added 9,330 new apps.

Currently there are over 42,000 apps in the Android Market.  If the current pace of growth acceleration continues, Google could match Apple's current app count (around 150,000 apps) within a year or less.  Of course Apple is perpetually adding new apps as well, but many fear that the Apple market has become a bit bloated.  It's harder for new developers to get noticed on the App Store that on the Android Market, arguably.

Other factors work in Google's favor as well.  The inclusion of multi-touch and the release of a native SDK should help developers make top of the line ports or new titles for the smart phones.  And Google allows certain kinds of apps that Apple doesn't currently, such as third-party browsers.

One sign of health in the Android Market is the rising number of paid apps.  Another perpetual criticism of the platform leveled by iPhone proponents is "all the apps are free".  That's hardly true any more; today 40.4 percent of apps are paid (Google follows an identical 70-30 developer-publisher revenue split as Apple).

Android's apps also appear to be doing well overseas.  There's a ton of new apps for the EU, China, Russia, and others.





"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007






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