Friday, 24 February 2012

Android app downloads eclipse iOS in UK, Germany, Russia - U.S. is next


Despite ceding the global market share lead to Android by the end of 2010, Apple’s App Store has long lead Android and the rest of the smartphone world in app downloads. Apple became the market leader early in the app economy, and only recently has Android started to leverage its larger install base to challenge the iOS platform.
According to numbers provided by Xylogic, an app discovery web service, Android has passed Apple’s iOS for app downloads in the UK, Germany, Spain, and Russia. Android has also long held the lead in South America, where Apple’s products have not achieved the same degree of popularity they enjoy in the rest of the world.

In the United States Android has been steadily catching up to iDevices in app downloads, even though Apple sold more phones in Q4 of 2011 than Android did in the U.S. Android phones and iPhone downloads are nearly equal, and Xylogic expects the Android ecosystem to overtake iOS app downloads sometime in March or April.

Will this mean we see a shift in developer emphasis to prioritize Android development over iOS? That’s harder to say, as there are many reasons why developers choose a platform, and both ecosystems are large enough to justify developing for them. Familiarity with the design tools, personal preference, and platform demographics will probably contribute to developers making the call on a case by case basis. 

One the other hand, should the Android market continue to outpace the App Store, it’s not hard to imagine a future where developers did target Android as their primary app platform. But with Apple recently reclaiming some market share, it could be some time before either app economy takes a clear lead.

Android app downloads eclipse iOS in UK, Germany, Russia - U.S. is next