Google Play hits 15 billion downloads, nobody notices for weeks

May 11, 2012
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Understanding the importance of creating a complete and accessible ecosystem for Android users, Google recently rebranded and transformed the Android Market to Google Play. Under that one gigantic Play Store umbrella, users can now download not just apps, but also music, video, books, and even buy a phone.

Since people seem to be fixated on comparing the number of apps available on a certain platform, Google and its competitors still like to flaunt numbers every now and then, just to show who’s boss. So it’s quite puzzling to see Google not throwing the confetti to celebrate the 15 billion app downloads milestone, which was reached several weeks ago. It was only a couple of days ago that the achievement has even been confirmed by the company to TechCrunch.

15 billion – that might seem like a lot of zeros, but Google’s performance hasn’t quite reached Apple’s level yet. Back in March, Apple announced that over 25 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store, by more than 315 million owners of iOS devices.  Since Cupertino passed the 15 billion downloads mark in July 2011, the App Store received an average of 1.25 billion downloads per month, compared to Google’s monthly average of 1 billion downloads.

If you’re interested to know just how many Android apps there are right now that you can download for your phone and tablet, according to Appbrain, there are more than 440,000 apps on Google Play as of May 10, of which 318,000 are free apps and the other 123,000 paid apps. Apple, meanwhile, has over 550,000 apps in its App Store as of March 2012, with 170,000 being iPad-specific.

Anyway, congrats to Google for reaching the 15 billion downloads milestone, and for soon passing half a million apps available (pre-emptive response: yes, we also believe quality matters more than quantity). The latest figures are quite an achievement for a platform that only had 2,300 apps back in March 2009.

While it’s true that, in the past, developers have prioritized or focused exclusively on iOS devices, more and more popular apps, like Instagram, Flipboard and others, are finally making their way to Android. The introduction of carrier billing option should make Android platform even more attractive for devs.

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