December 29, 2010, 12:13 PM — Google's Android Market now has more than 200,000 apps, according to the third-party app tracking service AndroLib. This marks another big milestone in the breakneck race to the top with Apple's App Store but Google has not confirmed this achievement yet.
If AndroLib's report is accurate, this means that the number of Android apps in the Market has doubled in less than two months. Google officially said in October that there are 100,000 apps in the Android Market. At the last official count, Apple's App Store had more than 300,000 apps, so if the Android Market continues to grow at this pace, it would overtake Apple by the spring.
Several factors are fueling Android's impressive growth, now ranked as the number two mobile OS in the world, second only to Nokia. Google announced this month that it is activating more than 300,000 Android phones every day, which equates to a stunning nine million Android smartphones per month.
The sheer number of Android phones activations is because of the multitude of manufacturers putting out smartphones running the OS, with Motorola, HTC and Samsung among the most prominent ones. In comparison, Apple, with its iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, is believed to activate slightly less devices than Google, somewhere in the 270,000 devices per day region.
According to AndroLib's statistics, the Android Market has seen more than 2.5 billion application downloads (2,539,090,219 at the time of writing). With so many Android phones in the hands of consumers around the world, it's no surprise that the number of Android app downloads from the Android Market is skyrocketing.
Buying apps from the Android Market is also getting easier, as AT&T introduced carrier billing for Android Market purchases. This follows T-Mobile's introduction of the feature last year, and Google says it is working with more wireless carriers to offer carrier billing options for their subscribers.