Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

Summary: People may love their iPads and iPhones, but they're already buying more Android devices, and software.

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Android winning the iOS app. sales battle

Android winning the mobile app. sales battle

We love our Apple devices. We love the iPad in business. We love iPhones to the tune of 17-million phones sold in Apple's last quarter. But, there are far more Android phones sold than there are iPhones, and with nicely priced Android tablets such as the ViewSonic 7e and Amazon Kindle Fire, the iPad is being challenged on tablets as well. So, love aside, perhaps it shouldn't come as any surprise that ABI Research is reporting that Android is now number one in mobile application downloads.

According to ABI Research, In the second quarter of 2011, "Android overtook iOS to become the market share leader in mobile application downloads. The market shares of Android and iOS were 44% and 31%, respectively."

In case you're keeping score at home, there are still more iOS applications than there are Android applications and iPhone and iPad users are far more likely to download an application than their Android brothers and sisters. "Despite leading in total mobile application downloads, Android's app downloads per user still lag behind Apple's by 2-to-1," said Dan Shey, ABI Research's practice director, mobile services in a statement. "Apple's superior monetization policies attracted good developers within its ranks, thus creating a better catalog of apps and customer experience."

So why is Android winning then? There are two reasons. First, as Lim Shiyang, an ABI research associate stated, "Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success. Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores. These conditions alone explain why Android is the new leader in the mobile application market."

That sounds good, but I think the real reason is that people are simply buying the more affordable Android devices. By ABI's numbers, "IPhone shipment growth in Q2 2011 slowed to 9% from 15% a quarter earlier. In contrast, Android smartphone shipments increased 36% in Q2 2011, compared to 20% in Q1. Android's install base now exceeds iOS by a factor of 2.4-to-1 worldwide; by 2016 this factor will grow to 3-to-1." In short, Android phones are out-selling iPhones, and so, as the Android hardware market grows ever larger, so does Android software sales.

Combined, according to Download.com's numbers, mobile software downloads have already left Windows downloads in the dust. Using ABI's data, this trend seems certain to continue. According to ABI, "Global app downloads for year-end 2011 are expected to balloon to 29 billion, compared to only nine billion in 2010. Such stellar increases are largely due to the proliferation of smartphones around the world. The total smartphone install base is expected to grow 46% in 2011."

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Topics: Smartphones, Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security

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40 comments
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  • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

    Who cares?
    vivianvein
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @vivianvein <br>I think that it is important to recognise that is has taken "hundreds" of different Android phones and tablets to beat 3 iOS phones and 2 iOS tablets.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @Habiloso

        I cannot tell if the original article includes tablets into their mobile OS discussion. I guess it was not and they were comparing android to iphones. It is difficult to understand what were the other devices taking 100%-44%-31% = 25%.
        rice2999
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @vivianvein Why do you need to act this way? If you don't like it don't read it and certainly don't respond by writing a note. We don't want to hear your views but we are here to read the article...TS
      terryschiele@...
  • This is only part of the story; the bigger part is the quantity/volume of

    ... <b>paid</b> applications that were downloaded. For now, Android is not serious competition to iOS yet in this key measure.<br><br>However, lets see how things will develop next year.
    DDERSSS
    • I'm glad you brought that up

      @DeRSSS
      It is very important to distinguish between paid apps and free apps. As you said yourself, Android is not a serious competitor to Apple in this key measure. Apple still has a monopoly on the paid apps download marketshare (using your words).
      toddybottom
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @toddybottom

        But what are they getting versus Android's paid non-downloaded apps? As far as I can tell, Apple's policy does not even allow for custom apps that are not intended for a marketplace. You can do that with Android. I know of multiple businesses that are doing just that, including my own employer.
        Michael Kelly
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @toddybottom On the other hand, Rovio claimed they were making more money from the free version of Angry Birds on Android, than they were from the version sold on iTunes...

        Apple certainly have a big market for paid for apps, and most people seem to avoid paid for apps on Android; I know I haven't signed up a payment method on Google's Appstore. But there again, all of the apps I needed were free anyway - and were also free on iOS.
        wright_is
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @DeRSSS Doesn't really matter, as you'll most likely get more revenue from the ads in the free versions than you will for the paid ones.
      Aerowind
      • Not even close.

        @Aerowind

        Revenue on paid apps is substantially higher than ad supported CPM based models.

        Personally, a world with ads popping up on every application is as close to hades as I can think of.
        Bruizer
  • Android will prevail!

    Thank Heavens for Google.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      I'm not sure having Google run the world is any more desirable than having Apple run the world. Their actions have shown that they don't really care about privacy. Plus, they have more legal issues to sort out, with Microsoft collecting royalties from half of Android OEMs, Apple suing Samsung, and Oracle with a lawsuit out there, as well.
      KPOM1
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @KPOM1 Are you suggesting Apple cares about anyone's privacy? You may want to re-read the privacy section of Apple's EULAs.
        Android makers only pay MS royalties because it's cheaper than ligation, as MS is holding an empty IP gun, but has a full wallet for lawyers.
        Finally, Apple's patents have been falling by the handfuls, but not unsurprisingly, Apple doesn't publicize that.
        anothercanuck
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @KPOM1 Who's not suing who ?
        mybunkaccount@...
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      I agree with KPOM1 - I do not want Google running the world nor Apple for that matter but do you want to know the [i]real[/i] reason there have been more Android Apps downloaded? I just replaced my work phone - a Blackberry Curve with a Samsung Fascinate running Android 2.2... but don't worry I still have my iPhone 4... LOL
      athynz
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      THANK GOD FOR APPLE!!!!!!!!!!! Remember without the iPhone or iPad, people would still be using phone with keyboard running WinMo 5 lol. Apple changed all that! and then Google copied them...
      Hasam1991
    • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * LOL - and Microsoft just getting more and more money from it. - NOW that is irony.
      ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

        @ItsTheBottomLine

        Yeah -- phone manufacturers are willing to pay MS to NOT use Windows!
        bswiss
  • RE: Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

    SJVN, what your point??? All you want is to bad mouth MS. Shame on you, grow up please !!! . Android is full of malware and low quality apps. Andorid is built using stolen goods. Who cares what they 'achieve' ...
    owlnet
    • Wow...The truth hurts you, doesn't it.....

      @owlnet

      This was about Apple iPhones and Android, the only mention of Microsoft was they are just getting into the market.

      The more Android phones sold, the less iPhones are sold. And you state who cares? I can bet you any money that both Apple and Microsoft care...a lot.

      Please...grow up a little.
      linux for me