Android has reached a significant milestone overtaking Apple as the top mobile OS for worldwide app downloads, according to a new report from ABI Research. Google’s smartphone and tablet OS now holds a 44 per cent market share of global app downloads, while iOS app purchases trail significantly behind at 31 per cent.
According to ABI Research, the current boom in Android handset sales is responsible for its regal position at the head of the app market. In the last quarter, iPhone shipments dropped off to 9 per cent from 15 per cent earlier in the financial year. On the other hand, Android smartphone shipments dramatically surged upwards from 20 per cent in Q1 2011 to a 36 per cent total in the second quarter.
“Android’s open source strategy is the main factor for its success,” explains Lim Shiyang, research associate for ABI. “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.”
In further Android-related news, the Android Market received over 500,000 app submissions in September. That’s a hugely impressive figure which draws Google’s platform even closer to dominance over Apple who received 600,000 submissions for their App Store in the same month. That said, 37 per cent of Android’s 500,000 applications were decommissioned, unpublished, or removed leaving a revised total of 315,000 apps still available for download.
With iPhone handset sales dropping off in a pre-4S lull, it will be interesting to see whether Android holds onto its global app download crown over the coming months. Certainly, it seems as though Apple’s days as the undisputed app champion are numbered.