Android Market accounts for 44% of all app downloads in Q2 2011, overtakes iOS for first time reports ABI Research
Larger userbase the defining factor
Steve Jobs apparent vow to destroy Android with a "thermonuclear war" didn't exactly pan out as he intended, with Android's market share growing in most major territories month on month.
Now a report from ABI Research suggests app downloads on Google's platform have also surpassed that of the mighty App Store, accounting for 44 percent of the worldwide app market in Q2 2011 to iOS's 33 percent.
Android, it's the future
The main reason behind Android's apparent app ascendancy, the firm claims, is fairly straightforward: there are simply more Android devices out there.
"Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success," said research associate Lim Shiyang.
"Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores. These conditions alone explain why Android is the new leader in the mobile application market."
Apple's total iPhone shipment growth for 2011 Q2 was down to 9 percent from 15 percent a quarter earlier, according to the report, while Android smartphone shipment growth rose by 36 percent compared to 20 percent in Q1.
That's a gap ABI reseach believes will only expand in the years to come. Currently, there are 2.4 Android users for every one running iOS. By 2016, the company claims, that ratio will have risen further to 3.4 Android devices to every 1 iOS.
Apple is still ahead of the curve in terms of monetisation, however, according to practice director of mobile services Dan Shey.
"Despite leading in total mobile application downloads, Android's app downloads per user still lag behind Apple's by 2-to-1," he said.
"Apple's superior monetisation policies attracted good developers within its ranks, thus creating a better catalog of apps and customer experience."
ABI Research claims global app downloads hit a total of 9 billion in 2010 – an annual figure set to rise to 29 billion by the end of 2011, with the total smartphone install base expected to increase by 46 percent.
The firm's take comes weeks after Xyologic estimated Android Market's monthly downloads wouldn't top those on the App Store until after June 2012.
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