Dutch App Store Analytics company, Distimo, most recently published its latest report, zeroing on the continued success of Android. The report itself does a wonderful job of providing a bird’s eye view on where we are headed, from an Apps perspective.
The inventor of the cellphone says that he wants to see all the platforms succeed. The reasoning behind this is simple – more success for the different platforms equals more intense competition. This translates into a ever-improving experience for everyday users, which of course is a great thing.
According to Distimo, Google’s Android Market currently offers 134,342 free applications for download, while Apple’s App Store for iPhone offers 121,845 free applications. Uh oh. Ardent Apple fans say that Apple’s curated App Store / Walled Garden results in a better experience for users, and their is legitimacy to these claims – for now.
However, the curated approach, while sound, has it’s limitations. It can place limits on innovation, and potentially inhibit developers from creating truly breakthrough applications. I personally believe that the Android Market, while far from perfect, is truly representative of free market economic model. While the Android Market, as far as “app economies” go, is still in its infancy, it holds incredible promise for the future. Much like the free market where people buy the products they like most, Android users have access to real innovation, with some of the controversy it can bring. Can you imagine living in a country (North Korea) where your government prevents you from buying products because it doesn’t like them? Of course, this is an extreme example, but I hope you see my point. Who provides oversight to Apple’s app approval process? No one. Consumer “protection” agencies, like the FDA, are in theory a good thing, but some would argue otherwise.
Anyway, with Android expecting to have one million daily activations in the near future, we can expect some truly incredible apps to be created in the very near future, further reinforcing Android’s ascent to become the most popular mobile OS in the world.
Apps people, Apps
What makes this interesting is that Distimo expects the Android Market to become the largest store in terms of number of applications in just five short months from now. Their analysis is based on the idea that current growth rates across all different application stores are maintained somewhat.
Unbelievably, when this does happen – not if – the Android Market will completely dominate Apple’s App Store, and all the other mobile miscreants like Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, BlackBerry App World and Nokia Ovi Store in size – and in that order.
Apple Users Pay More – for Less?
The number of paid applications available in Android Market is about one-third of the total number of paid applications available in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
While the App Store for iPhone remains as the largest store in terms of total applications available, it has stagnated big time. It was among the slowest growing mobile applications stores in terms of relative growth in March 2011.
To further make things look less appealing for supporters of Apple’s iOS platform, Distimo has noted that applications for iOS have become more expensive over time, while the Android Market and other competing App stores have moved in the opposite direction. It’s no wonder that this is occurring when Apple collects 30% of Developer revenues. They obviously have a stake in things moving in this direction.
Really though, the best news for proponents of the Android platform is that Distimo expects the Android Market to become the largest App store in the world in terms of number of applications in about five months from now, provided current growth rates across all different application stores are maintained.
When this happens – not if – the Android Market will trump the App Store for iPhone and iPad and all the other competing platforms – combined.
Curated? Open and Free? Where do you stand?
Obviously these ideas raise lots of questions. Do you think Amazon has the right idea with having a curated approach to an App market? Would you like Google to have a more rigorous approval process? How about locking the whole thing down and charging users boat loads of cash? Voice your opinions people! They are always listening.