Android Market to overtake App Store in August 2011 - Mobile World Live

Android Market to overtake App Store in August 2011

09 MAY 2011

Analyst firm research2guidance said that given the current growth rate in app store numbers, Android Market will overtake Apple’s App Store in August 2011, to become the biggest store in the market in available content terms. It said that in April, Android Market added 28,000 new apps, whereas Apple “lagged” with only 11,000 adds. For Apple, this still means that every month it is adding a similar number of apps to the cumulative total available in Microsoft’s WP7 Marketplace, while Google is adding the same number of apps as the total available in RIM’s BlackBerry App World.

Less positively, while Android Market is “clearly the most dynamic app market today,” the analyst firm said that “this does not necessarily mean that the chance for an average developer to generate revenue on that platform has grown as well.” It notes that “on the contrary, the success of an app store is negatively correlated to the success of an average developer”; average download numbers decrease dramatically after the first months after the launch of a store, as “the long tail gets longer and longer while the top 5 percent gets richer.”

As a way to counter this, research2guidance suggests that a “go niche” strategy will become “critical” for publishers without the budget to promote apps. This could including submitting products for less popular categories; making use of specialised Android sub-markets which allow direct sponsoring possibilities; moving to independent app store to increase reach and place apps in a “less numerically competitive environment”; localising apps to target specific countries; and “being the first to know,” as changes in the market create new opportunities for developers aware of them.

Last month, research firm Distimo also forecast that Android Market will overtake the App Store in roughly the same timeframe, having already overtaken it in the free apps race. According to research2markets, some 64 percent of Android Market apps are free, which is “above average for one of the major app stores.” However, there are signs of a shift in favour of paid-for products, with 60 percent of apps submitted to Android Market in April 2011 being free. This has also led to an increase in average selling prices of 2 percent during the month to reach US$3.23 in April 2011.

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