Android apps overtake iOS in downloads, claims study

If you have have an Android-based smartphone and downloaded an app today from its Marketplace, you are not alone. According to a new study from ABI Research, downloads of Android apps have now overtaken those from Apple's iOS platform. The study claims that Android's app market share is now at 44 percent compared to 31 percent from Apple.

It's not hard to see why this has happened. Apple may have led the way in introducing a central app store back in 2008. But Google's Android operating system, with its open source themed, has been embraced by a ton of smartphone makers. This increase has now allowed app makers to be forced to consider making products from both Android and iOS platforms.

But it's not totally black and white on this front. ABI Research's Dan Shey says in the press release, "Despite leading in total mobile application downloads, Android's app downloads per user still lag behind Apple's by 2-to-1."

How could this be? One of the big reasons is that the Android Marketplace, the central location to download apps for the platform, didn't really have a good user interface to grab apps. This thankfully changed a few months ago with a redesigned UI that is more intuitive and easier to use. It still isn't quite as good as the iOS App Store but it's getting there.

In the end, having two viable mobile operating systems with big audiences is a huge opportunity for app makers to expand their reach. Apple may have started the app trend but Android's rise created an all new venue for software developers. Ultimately that means a bigger overall market for app developers to sell their creations.

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