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Can Android Market Catch Up to the App Store?


The number of applications such as games and calendars that developers have begun working on for cell-phone operating system Android has jumped 94% between September and October, according to Flurry, which provides in-app analytics software for mobile devices.

The increased developer hustle and bustle around Android comes as no surprise: In November, Verizon Wireless is expected to launch its first Android phone from Motorola, and the carrier has already started a major marketing blitz around the device. Android-based phones from other makers, like HTC, are selling well. About 20 Android-based devices are expected to come out this year, and 30 more in 2010, according to analysts. As more Android phones get into users?hands, more people will start using these devices to download apps from the Android Market, which currently features more than 10,000 applications. Naturally, developers want to get in on the game.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Android Market catches up to the Apple App Store, which currently offers more than 85,000 apps, in the number of applications it carries in the next year or two. Consider: By 2012, Android should become the world’s second-largest mobile operating system, according to consultant Gartner. At that point, more people will be buying Android-based phones each year than the iPhones. And users of Android devices download as many applications — about 10 — each month as iPhone owners do. Since developers always want to make apps for the largest possible pool of users, Android Market’s applications count should skyrocket.


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