Android Market is the fastest growing mobile content platform since the beginning of 2011

But only a few app publishers will benefit. (Revised blog post)

Android Market is the fastest growing app store today, although it had a slow start when it was launched. In December 2010 it finally overtook the Apple App Store in terms of new application uploads.

Android Market r2g new

29,000 new mobile apps submitted in April

Currently it shows growth rates more than twice as high as Apple’s App Store. In April Android added 29,000 new apps, whereas Apple lagged behind with 23,500 apps. Each market leader adds more apps to his store every month than other platforms have in total.

At the end of April 2011 the Android Market had already featured an impressive number of apps, 200,000. 64% of these apps are free, which is above average for one of the major app stores.

64% free apps

The “free” culture of the Android Market has been one of the main characteristics of the Android ecosystem since its launch. Over the last few months there has been a tendency for publishers to try to shift the balance by submitting more paid apps. In April, the share of free apps submitted to the store slightly decreased to 60%.

This trend towards paid business models is underlined by an increase in the average selling price of 2% over the last month to reach $3.23 in April.

Highest app growth rates

The Android Market is clearly the most dynamic app market today with the highest growth rates in terms of app numbers, but this does not necessarily mean that the chance for an average developer to generate revenue on that platform has grown as well. On the contrary, the success of an app store is negatively correlated to the success of an average developer.

All analysis on the early months of an app store including the Android Market shows that average download numbers decrease dramatically after the first months or even weeks after the launch of the store. The long tail gets longer and longer while the top 5% gets richer and richer.

Promoting apps becomes more difficult

There are still niches in the Android Market, but it is becoming more and more difficult to find them. A “go niche” strategy will become critical for all publishers who don’t have the marketing muscles to promote their apps with e.g. in—app advertisement campaigns or by leveraging existing marketing channels. “Go niche” could mean for the Android Market:

  • Go niche category: Don’t submit your app to a category with hundreds of new adds per week
  • Use niche promotion: Make use of specialized Android sub market places which allow direct sponsoring possibilities within the store
  • Go niche independent stores: Make use of independent app stores to increased reach and to place your app in a less numerically competitive environment
  • Localize: Concentrate on a specific country with the service the app is offering
  • Be the first to know: Changes in the market will create new opportunities for those who are aware of them, and can make the most of them before competition jumps on the bandwagon.

What are your strategies in a highly competitive and dynamic Android app market?

Free Android Insight report

From April onwards we invite you to stay updated on the key developments on the Android Market with our free monthly Android Insight report research2guidance Android Market Insights, powered by AndroidPIT.

resesearch2guidance – Android Market Insights

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  1. Gary Menszyk says:

    What evidence do you have that this is a trend that will continue? Why do you think that the market will not become saturated? What evidence do you have that this isn’t a case of IOS developers possibly porting over apps accounting for the increase? To draw any conclusions beyond a few months would seem to be very unrealistic. Numbers alone do not make a good measure.

    The value of this analysis is questionable when it is only based on quantity.


  2. Ralf Jahns says:

    Hi Gary,
    at the monment numbers count. Becoming the biggest app store at least in terms of app numbers is a great thing for Google. There is a big share of apps which have been developed for multi platforms, therefore you are right in assuming that there is a significant overlap of IOS and Android apps. Will growth of app numbers stop? We don’t think so at least for the next 1-2 years.

  3. David says: shows 340,000 apps that are currents in the Android market and not only 280,000.

  4. Egle Mikalajunaite says:

    Hi David,

    This number (340,000) refers to all applications that have ever been submitted to the Android Market. Note that a good amount of apps have been removed from the store either by developers or by Google itself and are not available for download.

    For both stores we show only active unique apps available for download.

  5. Ilja says:

    Niiiice! <:)

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  7. lol nice post, do you do guest posts?

  8. I was actually considering doing something like this on my blog do you have any references?

  9. The android phone really is beginning to become a premier name in the smart phone industry. Im very interested to see how it does in the coming months. Everyone thought 2011 belonged to Apple but Android is really proving that wrong. Great blog!

  10. Having used both IOS and Android and stick with Android I’d love to see this platform dominate the mobile smartphone market but I fear that device and OS fragmentation are going to work against Android.

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