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Android Market pulls ahead of Apple’s iTunes AppStore

More iPhone apps (around 14 billion) have been downloaded than Android apps (7 billion). But just as Google Android-based cellphones are now outselling the iPhone, so the app war is titling in the relative newcomer’s favour.

A yet-to-be-published IDC global survey found Google’s Android Market has 1.3 billion apps downloaded during the third quarter versus 1.1 billion from Apple’s iTunes AppStore, according to IDC mobile platforms analyst Scott Ellison.

Looking ahead, IDC predicts proximity-based (that is, GPS-capable) social networking apps will be the hottest category in mobile software.

Android handset share hits 40%
Separately, a ComScore’s tracking survey of the US market has found that Android phones now have a smartphone subscriber share of 40%.

Apple’s iPhone continues to grow, if not at the same pace, while previous smartphone champs RIM/BlackBerry and Nokia continue to sag.

(Click to enlarge; Symbian is Nokia's main smartphone software platform)

Latest worldwide phone sales figures
Meanwhile IDC's latest quarterly tracking survey of all mobile phone sales (that is, beyond the smartphone market) shows Nokia remains top dog, but continues to decline.

Samsung gains at the expense of fellow Korean phone maker LG. Both are among the many companies now making handsets that run on Google's Android software.

And while Apple has a single model of phone, 20 million iPhones sold in the lastest quarter were enough to put it at number four in the phone market overall.

(Click to enlarge)

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions
5

Interesting stuff in the patent wars currently - we will see a drop in the number of handsets licensed with Android as manufacturers have to pay $5~$15 per handset to Microsoft (trying to push them to the new Windows Phone for cheaper), and as Apple have quite a few patents they are also gaining off android handset sales . The only money Google make is through app advertising and sales .

You mis-understand how Google makes money. Every android handset mean more data for Googles search engines, improving their search algorithms means they stay top dog in search, meaning they stay top place for advertisers to go to. The revenue doesn't have to be directly associated with the handset. Its data for free.

J: Yes I saw that NBR article too. I hope the DoJ (in the U.S) puts an end to these silly patent hoarders.

Have a read of this - http://www.wpcentral.com/google-responds-microsoft-and-vice-versa

Seems Google could have got in on it but they turned down the oppourtunity to buy into all the patents, later biting them in the ass ..

Yes KiwiTim, Google revenue system is built on advertising .

I wont touch Apple devices on principal, they've become greed driven asshats that are hell bent on locking as many people as possible into the iTunes ecosystem where as much money as possible can be wrung out of them.

Microsoft are not much better but so far they've simply been too stupid to be a real problem.

So far Android wins because it is more open and Google seem less hell bent on screwing users over.

The big thing to remember here is that Apple have a single device, whilst Android has hundreds... its a numbers game