Google’s Android Market has passed the 200,000 app mark, and if current growth rates are maintained, will be the largest app store in terms of products available in “approximately five months”, according to the latest research from Distimo. Android Market has already overtaken Apple’s App Store for iPhone in terms of free apps, with around 134,000 and 122,000 in each – although with the Apple store still being 50 percent bigger than Android Market, this indicates an Apple dominance in the paid-for charts. The company also forecast that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will be larger than Nokia’s Ovi Store and BlackBerry App World in less than one year from its launch.
The company noted that “only moderate growth” was observed in most of the app stores during the course of the last few months, although overall growth picked up again in March. The App Store for iPhone was “among the slowest growing stores in terms of relative growth” during the month (at 6 percent) but, because of its size, it was still only second to the Android Market in terms of total apps added. Of the mobile stores, Microsoft’s WP7 Marketplace was the fastest grower, with its 38 percent increase taking it to almost 12,000 apps, while the 21 percent growth of BlackBerry App World took it to almost 27,000.
Based on the current growth figures, Distimo also anticipates that BlackBerry App World will “most likely be larger than Nokia Ovi Store by the end of May 2011.”
Distimo noted that since the launch of the App Store for iPad in April 2010, apps for this device have become more expensive over time – the opposite of the trends in other app stores. The proportion of apps featuring in-app purchases has also declined, which the company said is because “the games category, which has generally had a high in-app purchase adoption rate, has lost some of its prominence to other categories.” The largest category in terms of available applications is books, followed by games titles.
The company also highlighted a number of cross-platform publishers active in the iPad store, who are “likely to publish on the new tablet platforms as they are already experienced in multi-platform development.” It noted that 58 percent of the 50 most popular iPad publishers developed applications for one or more other platforms as of March 2011.