Google’s Android Market (s goog) eclipsed the 100,000 app milestone today, according to a tweet from the Android Developer Twitter account.
This puts Android Market on a solid growth pace, although it still trails Apple’s App Store (s aapl) by a wide margin. Apple’s App Store, which opened July 10, 2008, hit 100,000 apps in 482 days while the Android Market took 733 days to reach the same point after launching on Oct. 22 in 2008. Apple still has a considerable amount of momentum, making it difficult for any competitor to catch up to. Between June 7 and Oct. 17 this year, the number of Apple iOS apps have increased from 225,000 to an estimated 280,000: adding about 417 apps a day. Meanwhile, Android Market has seen apps increase from 70,000 on July 15 to 100,000 today, or it added 294 apps a day.
But with recent sales of Android devices surging past the iPhone, and improvements to Android Market rolling out, we may see the gap decrease over time as developers ramp up on Android. However, Android still has to show that it’s a money-making machine. As my colleague Kevin pointed out today, users spend a lot of time on Android, which can be good for monetizing mobile ads making up for lower sales figures for paid apps on Android when compared with apps sold through iTunes. That too can spur on mobile app development.
But at some point, all these numbers start to get meaningless. Android Market has hit a milestone, and one that showcases the momentum of the platform. However, bigger questions about the mobile app economy still remain, such as whether any of the laggard platforms will catch up. Or whether users will continue to buy apps knowing they are locked into a single platform. Or even if apps will continue to win out over the mobile web.
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