Apple’s App Store hits 50 billion downloads, but Android’s catching up

App Store 50 billion

App Store 50 billion

It’s official: more than 50-billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store since it was launched in mid 2008. With iDevice usage climbing monumentally since then, no one’s doubting the success of the App Store, as more and more owners of iDevices are logging in to get their hands on everything from Instagram to Angry Birds.

It’s not a milestone that Apple has let sneak by unnoticed: to draw attention to the fact that its App Store has been racking up downloads, the company has been running a (illustrative, not technically accurate) counter on the front page of the store and offered the iPerson who tapped “install” on the 50 000 000 000th app a US$10 000 gift card. The next 50 to do so will receive a US$500 gift card for use in the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore.

The timing for when Apple finally reached 50-billion downloads is quite interesting (especially for conspiracy theorists): the announcement comes during Google’s giant annual developer conference, Google I/O, and the same day the Android team said that it has now seen 48-billion downloads on Google Play since it launched (three months after Apple’s store) four years ago.

The volume of downloads over on Google Play just seems to be increasing, driven by the growing levels of Android adoption worldwide (and the success of phones like the Galaxy S III): Google says 2.5-billion of those downloads occurred in the last month. If it continues at this rate, it too will soon pass the 50-billion mark — and with Android accounting for a massive 74% of total smartphone shipments in the first three months of this year (up from 56% a year ago), Google Play’s popularity can still increase.



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