Two weeks ago Apple announced that it hit 50 billion apps served. That’s the last major milestone the first big player in the mobile app market will hit first.
What goes up, I suppose, must come down.
As sure as gravity, Google Play will surpass Apple’s app downloads in September of this year. It’s simply a matter of mathematics.
Apple is adding two billion downloads a month, according to Asymco’s Horace Dediu. That’s a lot of apps. And individually, iOS users download more apps than Android users, too: 83 per device compared to 53. But the flock of global Android users are downloading 2.5 billion apps a month from Google Play, Google recently announced.
And with a rapidly growing installed base of over 900 million Android users, that gap is going to continue to grow.
Do the math. Or, rather, let me do it for you:
Above: Google Play vs Apple iOS app downloads
Image Credit: John Koetsier
In reality, of course, neither platform is increasing at a static rate of acceleration. Both are growing monthly app download numbers each and every month. But Google Play is growing faster on a larger installed base, and so will almost certainly surpass iOS in total app downloads in September.
And that, of course, is not even counting the 200+ app stores for Android in addition to Google Play — many of which in China and Korea are extremely popular and well-used.
Which means that Android might already have surpassed iOS in app downloads … even if Google hasn’t.
The real question, however, is whether it matters.
Android has the majority of the market share — about 70 percent globally — while Apple has the majority of the profit share, perhaps as much as two-thirds of all profits generated from mobile. Until Android can prove that someone beside Samsung can make money on Android, it all remains rather academic.
There are lots of apps in both app stores, and lots of downloads on both major mobile platforms. And one more platform in third place trying to displace them both.