Distimo is reporting that Android now has 400,000 applications available on the Android Market, putting Android a mere 25% behind Apple’s App Store. Android’s smartphone market share continues to grow more rapidly than any other smartphone platform, and developers are taking notice.
With more and more developers developing Android applications before developing for other platforms, it will likely not be much longer before the number of Android applications matches the number of iOS apps, likely when both platforms are in the 550,000 to 600,000 range if Android’s market growth continues at the rate it has been.
Distimo’s report shows that Android’s application growth is largely coming in the free application category, with 68% of applications now available free of charge to end users, a 13% increase from April 2011 to December 2011. We expect this trend to grow even more as developers embrace the freemium model, where developers offer the basic application for free and offer premium features as in-app purchases.
While it’s encouraging to see the number of applications growing, we hope that the trend continues to bring useful and novel applications to Android rather than “crap-apps” or apps that simply replicate functions of another application.