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.