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Apple has had a long head start in mobile apps over new archrival Google.

But new data shows that the number of Android apps has grown 127 percent since August and offerings in Google’s Android Market should outnumber the total for iPhone apps by mid-2012. Apple’s App Store wares grew 44 percent in the same time.

The data comes from the App Genome Project, a research project undertaken by Lookout Mobile Security, a mobile app security company. Lookout is examining every single app on both the Android Market and the App Store; it doesn’t count updates or apps you can no longer download.

Apple has 348,894 apps available now, compared to 243,037 in August. The Android market has 87,785 apps, compared to 38,729 in August.

Part of Google’s success may lay in its developers’ prolificity. Android Market developers typically release more apps than Apple App Store developers, said Kevin Mahaffey, cofounder of Lookout, in an interview. On average, the Android Market has 6.2 apps per developer, while the App Store has 4.8.

Google’s Android Market also has looser approval policies than Apple, which has drawn criticism for its strict review process.

Mobile App SpotlightCalling all developers: We want to write up your app for VentureBeat’s Mobile App Spotlight! If you have an innovative mobile app that hasn’t been featured on VentureBeat yet, submit it for consideration right away. The Mobile App Spotlight is sponsored by The Intel AppUp developer program.


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