The 900 million-strong army of Android devices that have been activated to date are likely to propel Google Play into pole position among mobile app stores by June.
Google and Apple in May announced almost in unison that they had reached key milestones for downloads from their respective stores.
Google announced in May it had reached 48 billion downloads off the back of a month that saw Android users download around 2.5 billion apps. Google had approximately 700,000 apps available in June, according to App Brain.
The day before, Apple announced that since opening its App Store in 2008, iOS owners had downloaded 50 billion apps — excluding re-downloads and updates — and were doing so at a rate of two billion apps per month. Apple has around 850,000 iPhone apps and 350,000 iPad apps available.
Horace Dediu, mobile analyst at researchers Asymco, forecasts that Google's Play downloads is likely to be on par with App Store downloads by the end of May.
Given the two store's rates, Dediu told ZDNet it was very likely that Google Play downloads would surpass the App Store in June.
However, it's the sheer number of Android devices that will propel Google Play in to the lead, since iOS owners tend to install more apps per device than Android owners.
According to Dediu, there are 83 apps per iOS device while there are 53 apps per Android device activation. He added that the gap between the two companies on this metric showed no sign of narrowing.