An analysis of recently compiled data by ABI Research indicates that Android phones are for the first time downloading apps in greater numbers than Apple's iPhone. This would seem like a milestone, but ABI's research also shows that while the total number of apps downloaded onto Android devices in the last quarter exceeds that of the iPhone, Android handsets outnumber iPhones by a factor of 2.4 to 1.

This means that Android users are still downloading far fewer apps on an individual basis than iPhone owners - ABI suggests by a ratio of 2 to 1 one, in Apple's favor.

The growing marketplace for app revenue on Android is clear, as Android growth continues to outstrip the iPhone by a significant margin, app developers are turning their attention to the mobile OS that was once considered a lost cause in terms of making a profit. The fact that the tables have turned so quickly likely reflects the realization of many developers that in the mobile space, volume is everything, and volume is where Android dominates.

In fact, according to ABI, Android handset shipments in the second quarter grew 36% year over year, while the iPhone managed a measly 9% growth. While the iPhone's slowed rate of growth was owed largely to the unusual timing of Apple's release of the iPhone 4S, it's obvious that Android growth has outstripped Apple on a global scale over the last year.

ABI's research does not indicate if it takes into account 3rd party app store installations, such as those from the Amazon Appstore.

The full ABI press release is available at Business Insider.

Business Insider

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Gordon DUke

    I wonder if some of the disparity in application download stats is related to things you don't need to download an extra app to do in Android

  • https://plus.google.com/117702410245683101961/posts Lucian Armasu

    Maybe that's because the low-end Android phones still have 150 MB of internal storage. The App2SD thing is not that useful if it doesn't happen automatically, and if you don't know what you are doing. A lot of mainstream people are getting apps and realizing they can't install more than 10 of them on their phone, while the app sizes keep growing bigger and bigger.

    That storage size may have made sense in the first year or two when apps were like 1-2 MB at most, but most of them have grown 10 fold since then on average. Still having only 150 MB, even on a low-end phone is ridiculous. I'd like Google to enforce a rule that even those phones need at least 500 MB of free internal storage.

  • ErsMerz

    Google should make many rules.. but they obviously will never.
    To be honest, sometimes I wish Android was never so succesfull and there was a third player that would overrun it.
    Apple did so much better, they force their developers to make pretty apps for example.
    Look at most Android apps.. Google could do so as well, but they simply wont.
    And, they wont do many things we all wish they would just do..!

    • Ribbys

      Pretty apps does not mean they are useful.

      IF we only had pretty apps we may not have many of the root apps. Programers dont always have access to good design.

      What makes Android great is anyone can publish an app.

    • Peter

      Have you taken a peek at Windows Phone 7? It's actually very nice, just missing a few applications and features which I'm sure most will be remedied over the next year.

      • Skillit

        Have you taken a look at WP7 ? It's not just missing a few applications it's missing loads off apps, their storefront has less tha 1/10 of the offerings on android, not only that but the few apps that are present are much more expensive than their Android and iOS counterparts (just look at Angry Birds for instance it's free on Android, 0.99 on iOS and 2.99 on WP7).
        Pile on the apps problem the fact that the OS still lags severely behind the new releases of iOS and Android in functionality, the restricted and outdated hardware, which has the same price as the up to date offerings of Android and iPhone, and the design choices of the OS that limit the creativity of the developer and the amount of functionality that they can put on their apps.
        The WP7 its a really bad choice of smartphone, you don't get the power of Android nor the glamour of iPhone and on top of that you have to pay more to utilize a system that offers you less.

    • rol

      Pretty apps? You mean the icons? Yea, the icons on the AppStore are prettier than Android Market, but the apps works the same.

      Games on both platform looks the same. It's just Android doesn't have as many as iOS. But since Android is already ahead of iOS in number of users, big name developers will surely be tempted to create or port apps to the Android Market. It's just a matter of time.

  • Chris

    I think Gordon, is more on the money. Google has more 'Out of the box FREE features and APPs' than IOS has. IOS users are forced to download more apps to obtain the same basic functionality. Paying more has always been the Apple Model of course...

    • Superdroid

      full ack. This was my first though ...

  • Superdroid

    Without apps such iPhones are a expensive pieces of crap. Hold it and you gain low reception.
    For everything you need to download an app. I started with an Galaxy S last year, now I own a Galaxy S2 and from my company I got these piece of crap, often called iPhone 4. I hate it, it is unuseable compared to a Galaxy S2 out of the box.
    Now I can say for me for sure, it is only a hype.
    iphone > /dev/null

  • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

    I think that Business Insider did a horrible job of reporting. All they did was run a press release full of percentages.

    If Android has more apps downloaded for it, then there should be no problem listing the number of app downloads for Android and showing that number is larger for Android. I don't see those numbers presented either here or on Business Insider's website.