Research: Number of Android Apps Will Pass Apple App Store in August

Google’s Android Market has grown at twice the rate of Apple’s App Store in terms of the number of apps during April, according to research firm. The company released a report Thursday that projects that Android Marketplace will have more apps than the App Store as early as August of 2011.

The number of apps available was once a hot button issue as Apple’s App Store dwarfed all of the competing online app markets. Today, according to research2guidance, Apple still has the most apps, with 381,062 apps, while Google’s Android Market has grown to include 297,738 Apps.

As you can see in the chart below, however, Android’s rate of growth began to exceed the App Store’s rate of growth in late 2010 — research2guidance pins the time frame at October of 2010. In April, 28,000 new apps were added to the Android Marketplace, while Apple’s App Store added 11,000.

research2guidance chart

Source: research2guidance
(Click the chart for a larger version) 

“Given the same growth rates (number of apps) as in previous months,” the company wrote, “the Android Market will reach 425,000 apps in August surpassing the Apple App Store.”

The company also noted that the two companies, Google and Apple, are hands down the leaders in this category, and that both companies add more apps every month than any other platform has in total. In a word, “ouch.”

The total number of apps available is only one way to measure the health and success of an online app market. Total downloads matter, as do the percentage of those downloads that are paid vs. those that are free. Historically, Apple’s App Store customers have downloaded more apps per user and they have been willing to pay for far, far more of their apps than Android users, as well.

The report issued today didn’t address either issue, but research2guidance did say that Android developers have increased the number of paid apps uploaded to Android market to 40% in April, up from 36% historically.

Apple has always touted its larger collection of App Store apps as a benefit to users. If research2guidance’s projections end up to be accurate, it will be very interesting to see how Apple handles the situation. That is, if those projections are borne out.