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Google Play will hit one million apps this June

After the single busiest week in terms of new device activations and app downloads in Android history, we study the size of Google Play’s app directory and predict when it’s likely to reach the magical one million app milestone.

As one would expect, the seven days beginning Christmas Day though New Year’s Day saw more device activations and app downloads than any other weekly period ever recorded. Collectively, 17.4 million new Android and iOS devices were activated and 328 million apps were downloaded over that period.

Google Play has recorded over 25 billion app downloads to date.

Google Play, or Android Market as it was known up until March 2012, began life in Autumn 2008 with the release of the first Android-powered smartphone – the HTC Dream. It took Google Play over a year to achieve meaningful app numbers, reaching 16,000 apps by December 2009. Android’s app market hit its first major milestone – 100,000 apps – in October 2010, exactly two years after first being released.

Fast-forward to today and the most recent solid figure we have for Google Play app numbers is 700,000 as of October 2012.

Google Play is expected to reach one million apps in size by June 2013

Google Play is expected to reach one million apps in size by June 2013

We took all the figures we could find that have been documented through the years and used a process of polynomial regression in an attempt to roughly determine when Android would reach one million apps.

It’s the same process we used to determine when Google Chrome would become the world’s dominant internet browser and the results proved very accurate. It’s also the same process used to predict when Facebook would reach one billion monthly active users.

As of now, we estimate that there are 800,000 apps available on Google Play. We predict that Google Play will reach 900,000 apps before April 2013 and will reach one million apps in size as early as June 2013.

Apple’s App Store has always been ahead of Android’s in terms of app numbers. However, both markets have almost reached even numbers in the past few months. With Android’s momentum, I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches one million apps before Apple does.

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Discussion
2 comments
Ttru
Ttru

Apple's App Store already hit 1 million apps submitted back in November according to Appsfre.  However, unlike Google, Apple actually reviews every app submitted and weeds out the garbage, so the total available in the store at this point is a lower number.

 

App numbers are pointless when you allow anything and everything into your store as Google does.  One estimate by AppBrain put the amount of spamware in the Android Marketplace at 45% of all apps.  

 

For developers, the more important number is revenue.

 

On this count, Apple's iOS App Store completely kicks Google and Microsoft to the gutter with Distimo reporting that iOS App Store revenues were 430% larger than Android during 2012. Distimo notes that just "the daily growth in the Apple App Store was higher than the total daily revenues in Google Play when comparing absolute daily revenue values."

 

Flurry reports that during Jan-Feb 2012, total revenues (including paid and advertising revenue) per user for apps from the Google Play store were 23% that of iOS apps.  Note that during 2012, Flurry reports that only 23% of app revenue came from advertising.

 

In Games, the largest most popular category, NewZoo reports that iOS users generate 84% of all mobile games revenue.

 

All in all, whether the number of apps in the Google Play Store surpasses the iOS App Store anytime soon is completely meaningless when quality, outright purchase revenue, in-app revenue and advertising revenue for developers are all a small fraction of Apple's App ecosystem.

darrenmccarra
darrenmccarra moderator

@Ttru All fair points. One thing this analysis does is show the phenomenal growth of the platform.

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