iPad reaches 3 billion app downloads in less than two years

New research shows that iPad users have cumulatively downloaded an estimated three billion applications since the iPad launched in April of 2010. That's a mere year and a half ago, and faster than the two years it took the iPhone to reach the same milestone, according to Allied Business Intelligence Research. The release notes that Android tablets have only reached around 440 million app downloads for comparison.

There were around 120,000 iPad-specific apps published as of Q3 2011. According to ABI Research, not only is there a larger quantity of tablet-specific apps available on the App Store compared to the Android Market, iPad apps are also generally considered to be higher quality than apps specific to Android tablets.

"In terms of hardware, the iPad device still offers much more compared to the current crop of tablets in the market," Dan Shey, practice director, mobile services, said. "Android is currently being used on many low end tablets that do not offer experiences anywhere near the iPad and this dampens the download momentum for users."

The release does note that this is expected to change with the recent release of Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. ABI Research also expects manufacturers to increase hardware specifications to close the gap between current Android tablets and the iPad. By 2016, annual Android app downloads for smartphones are predicted to hit 58 billion, compared to 27 billion for the iPhone.

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I find such a hard time trying to find apps that are even worthy of downloading.. there is so much junk out there.. Maybe it's because I'm not such a big app guy but theres not much out there that interests me really...

Just like android apps, how many are downloaded then removed and never used. Or downloaded, removed then re-downloaded at a later date...

The numbers really don't say much TBH.

xendrome said,
Just like android apps, how many are downloaded then removed and never used. Or downloaded, removed then re-downloaded at a later date...

The numbers really don't say much TBH.

Agreed. I downloaded hundreds and hundreds of apps but only kept a few...and refunded my money dozens of times as well.

techbeck said,

Agreed. I downloaded hundreds and hundreds of apps but only kept a few...and refunded my money dozens of times as well.

You can do that easily ?

max22 said,

You can do that easily ?

There is a certain amount of time you can get the refund after you buy an app. Plenty of time to test and make sure it does what you want.

It's a sign of the number of iPad adopters that it's hit so many downloads so quickly, but I'm disappointed in the lack of analysis behind it.

The iPhone, I'm pretty sure, didn't launch with an app store. Once it had one, there weren't very many apps, and users took a while to ramp up their download pace. The first billion downloads on the iPhone was a significant milestone.

The iPad, however, launched with an already mature ecosystem, and I'd imagine those 3 billion downloads aren't just the tablet-specific apps. So you've got users re-downloading the apps they already owned, plus continuing the same pace of app discovery they were already at.

If iPad app downloads were NOT moving faster than the same period of time after the iPhone's launch, I would be astonished. If anything, achieving it a mere 25% faster is actually kind of slow, when you think of the head start.

This is all very rudimentary analysis, and I'm not any kind of market expert, but my mind went down this path almost immediately while reading the story. It's disappointing that the people reporting this (I'm looking at you, Abi Research) aren't putting even this much thought into their articles.

Umm, low end androids dampening the download momentum....yea, thats the whole point of android. Get a tablet for what you want to use it for. You get a low end tab and who cares about downloading a ton of apps. If you want that, you will buy something better.

And the whole hardware comment is false. Android offers same hardware specs if not better in some cases.

techbeck said,
Umm, low end androids dampening the download momentum....yea, thats the whole point of android. Get a tablet for what you want to use it for. You get a low end tab and who cares about downloading a ton of apps. If you want that, you will buy something better.

And the whole hardware comment is false. Android offers same hardware specs if not better in some cases.

Specs don't make a better tablet though, most current Tegra 2 tablets match the iPad 2 in specs and Tegra 3 tablets eclipse it. Yet it's only the Tegra 3 tablets that have been able to match the quality of the iPad. The iPad 3 will leave the Tegra 3 tablets in it's dust, no question.

Android is like a PC, it's designed to work on as many hardware layouts as possible and as best as possible while iOS is more like a console, locked down hardware and OS tightly intergrated together and often able to outperform a PC with higher specs then it. Maybe that was a bad analogy but is how I see iOS and Android. Take with a grain of salt.

Xerxes said,

Specs don't make a better tablet though, most current Tegra 2 tablets match the iPad 2 in specs and Tegra 3 tablets eclipse it. Yet it's only the Tegra 3 tablets that have been able to match the quality of the iPad. The iPad 3 will leave the Tegra 3 tablets in it's dust, no question.
.

Never said specs make a better tablet. Just pointing out a false statement in the OP. And a little improved performance doesnt make much difference for most users and is why Android is doing so well...that and lots more choices which what people want. And ICS is doing great and I am looking forward to getting it on my original Transformer when ASUS gets off their asses or when XDA has a ROM available. I have a Galaxy Nexus running ICS and it is smooth as silk...stock OS and everything.

techbeck said,

Never said specs make a better tablet. Just pointing out a false statement in the OP. And a little improved performance doesnt make much difference for most users and is why Android is doing so well...that and lots more choices which what people want. And ICS is doing great and I am looking forward to getting it on my original Transformer when ASUS gets off their asses or when XDA has a ROM available. I have a Galaxy Nexus running ICS and it is smooth as silk...stock OS and everything.

I'm glad to hear that, all the videos I've seen of the Galaxy Nexus it lagged like crazy and I was worried..good to hear it's not the case. Yeah, I'm waiting for Acer to release ICS for my Iconia Tab, there are already ICS ROMs on XDA for it but rather get the official build from Acer.

Xerxes said,

I'm glad to hear that, all the videos I've seen of the Galaxy Nexus it lagged like crazy and I was worried..good to hear it's not the case. Yeah, I'm waiting for Acer to release ICS for my Iconia Tab, there are already ICS ROMs on XDA for it but rather get the official build from Acer.

I've been using ICS for a while and for the most part, its pretty smooth. It still lags here and there but then again, I have seen first hand iPhones and iPads that do the same thing.

techbeck said,

I've been using ICS for a while and for the most part, its pretty smooth. It still lags here and there but then again, I have seen first hand iPhones and iPads that do the same thing.

Good to know

techbeck said,

Never said specs make a better tablet. Just pointing out a false statement in the OP. And a little improved performance doesnt make much difference for most users and is why Android is doing so well...that and lots more choices which what people want. And ICS is doing great and I am looking forward to getting it on my original Transformer when ASUS gets off their asses or when XDA has a ROM available. I have a Galaxy Nexus running ICS and it is smooth as silk...stock OS and everything.

Nope, Android still isn't as fluid and lag-free as Windows Phones and iOS devices. Your Galaxy Nexus still isn't up to my standards.

The only reason people believe it has no lag is because it was supposed to have the lag-free Android 4.0 with hardware acceleration and be completely stock since it is a Nexus.

This is not true, your device still lags, but definitely not as much. But I wouldn't say it is smooth as silk because absolutely not is it smooth as silk...

I went to try one out and opened the browser and pinched to zoom. Horrible. Not fluid at all. Smooth my ass. And it wouldn't even let me pinch to zoom all the way in like iOS and WP7 do.

So I decided to install Firefox...while it was installing, the whole phone slowed down to a crawl...ok it was installing something, I get it...but it is a horrible implementation since WP7 and iOS both don't slow down the whole the phone while installing apps.

Sionic Ion said,

Nope, Android still isn't as fluid and lag-free as Windows Phones and iOS devices. Your Galaxy Nexus still isn't up to my standards.

I went to try one out and opened the browser and pinched to zoom. Horrible. Not fluid at all. Smooth my ass. And it wouldn't even let me pinch to zoom all the way in like iOS and WP7 do.

So I decided to install Firefox...while it was installing, the whole phone slowed down to a crawl...ok it was installing something, I get it...but it is a horrible implementation since WP7 and iOS both don't slow down the whole the phone while installing apps.

Because your standards are the most important...

And I experienced non of the issues you had. And if anyone things iOS doesnt lag, they are delusional.

"In terms of hardware, the iPad device still offers much more compared to the current crop of tablets in the market,"

Like what? The A5 is dual core, so is Tegra 2.... Most Android tablet offers SD storage, not found on the iPad. And with the ASUS Transformer Prime and ICS, the iPad 2 is not the technological king anymore.

Unless Apple comes out with the iPad 3 quite soon..... with better spec.

TruckWEB said,

Like what? The A5 is dual core, so is Tegra 2.... Most Android tablet offers SD storage, not found on the iPad. And with the ASUS Transformer Prime and ICS, the iPad 2 is not the technological king anymore.

Unless Apple comes out with the iPad 3 quite soon..... with better spec.

Apple have nothing to fear, it took a quad-core Android tablet to match a dual-core iPad 2. When the quad-core iPad 3 (with it's "retina" display) releases later this year, Android will get seriously owned by Apple. Android have no hope competing again iPad/iOS simple because it is closed system with the hardware tightly intergrated with the software, something Android will never beable to do. I'm a huge Android fan but every day I'm constantly reminded (when using my Android tablet or phone) that it's still very broken and has a long way to go (but overall I still love it). That is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

Xerxes said,

Apple have nothing to fear, it took a quad-core Android tablet to match a dual-core iPad 2. Android will get seriously owned by Apple. Android have no hope competing again iOS simple because iOS is closed system with the hardware tightly intergrated with the software, something Android will never beable to do. .

Its not the hardware, its the software thats hurting android. If Android's software was better tuned (which it is with ICS and hopefully will continue to improve) it wouldnt matter. The hardware spec wise is the same and was the point. The article said iPad has better hardware in in many cases, that isnt so. And since in some cases Android is putting out better hardware, it doesnt really have anything to do with them increasing their performance to match an iPad. Its just that Android is evolving at a faster pace than the iPad is.

And last time I checked, Android was owning Apple.

techbeck said,

Its not the hardware, its the software thats hurting android. If Android's software was better tuned (which it is with ICS and hopefully will continue to improve) it wouldnt matter. The hardware spec wise is the same and was the point. The article said iPad has better hardware in in many cases, that isnt so. And since in some cases Android is putting out better hardware, it doesnt really have anything to do with them increasing their performance to match an iPad. Its just that Android is evolving at a faster pace than the iPad is.

And last time I checked, Android was owning Apple.


Only in the mobile phone market, Apple is still the top manufacturer but Android ship [alot] more units overall (but hardly a surprise when you consider there is one 1 iPhone and hundreds of various Android based phones). In the tablet market, Apple is still #1 and owning everyone (HP tried to enter and failed, so did Blackberry) and Android is holding on but not doing that stellar and soon a heavy weight will be entering the market (MS) and they could really shake things up.

I agree, it's software that is holding Android back and ICS is definetly a move in the right direction....but with Win8 tablets releasing this year, will Android survive the onslaught from both Apple and MS? only time will tell. That is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

Xerxes said,

I agree, it's software that is holding Android back and ICS is definetly a move in the right direction....but with Win8 tablets releasing this year, will Android survive the onslaught from both Apple and MS? only time will tell. That is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

Depends on how MS does really and how long they wait until they release Win8 tabs. They were pretty slow and didnt do a good job with WP7. And I believe Android will hold its own. They are already gaining more groud in the tab market but who knows what may happen. I hope MS does well as more competition is good. Maybe it will kick Google's ass into getting the software more refined and polished. But again, only if MS comes out guns blazing.

techbeck said,

And last time I checked, Android was owning Apple.

hahahahahahah lets think about this, how many android devices are there! and how many apple products are. Now i love my android phone, but Apple have the market by miles, and why cause of there app store! Yes there are some better Hardware in there android products. but your statement is just funny!

lflashl said,

hahahahahahah lets think about this, how many android devices are there! and how many apple products are. Now i love my android phone, but Apple have the market by miles, and why cause of there app store! Yes there are some better Hardware in there android products. but your statement is just funny!

Save your immature responses for someone else.

And like someone here already commented, its doesnt matter how many apps are download...its the ones people keep and use that matter. I have 100+ apps on my Amazon App Store account I uninstalled and never reinstalled. I know many people that are the same.

And doesnt really matter how many android devices there are. Its a FACT that android is out on top in the phone market and gaining ground in the tab market. So laugh all you want.

rippleman said,

depends on your definition of "owning"

Was just responding to another post here. Quality of Apps, Apple is winning...market share, Android is. There are several different areas to consider.

techbeck said,

Save your immature responses for someone else.

And like someone here already commented, its doesnt matter how many apps are download...its the ones people keep and use that matter. I have 100+ apps on my Amazon App Store account I uninstalled and never reinstalled. I know many people that are the same.

And doesnt really matter how many android devices there are. Its a FACT that android is out on top in the phone market and gaining ground in the tab market. So laugh all you want.


Point yes that it true, but the Apple Store still beats the Android Marketplace in a very important area - revenues. There are far more free apps on an Android than on an iPhone or iPad, and App developers still choose iOS first for launching any app because they see more profit potential. While Apple's app store is well-organized and has a natural sales orientation, the Android market is a bit chaotic, with more of a focus on free stuff.

lflashl said,

Point yes that it true, but the Apple Store still beats the Android Marketplace in a very important area - revenues. There are far more free apps on an Android than on an iPhone or iPad, and App developers still choose iOS first for launching any app because they see more profit potential. While Apple's app store is well-organized and has a natural sales orientation, the Android market is a bit chaotic, with more of a focus on free stuff.

Next time read before responding and laughing and you will see I wasnt talking about the App Stores...I was replying to someone elses comment and talking about market share and different hardware...as the OP said Androids hardware was behind Apples.

Its obvious to anyone that Apples app store is more mature. But Androids is getting better. And again, like someone else said, its not about how many apps are downloaded. Its about how many are downloaded and kept/used.

techbeck said,

Next time read before responding and laughing and you will see I wasnt talking about the App Stores...I was replying to someone elses comment and talking about market share and different hardware...as the OP said Androids hardware was behind Apples.

Its obvious to anyone that Apples app store is more mature. But Androids is getting better. And again, like someone else said, its not about how many apps are downloaded. Its about how many are downloaded and kept/used.

From a developers point of view, who cares about kept and used. its about sales, and downloads. Also You cant compare all of androids phones to the one iPhone and say apple are losing. That would be like comparing one model of Mercedes against all cars that GM makes and saying the Mercedes is losing. It just doesn't make any sense. I love my SGII and enjoy what i can do with it., But im more of a power user and know what im doing.