Rising tide for Android app developers

Mashable recently posted an interview with Scott Schwarzhoff, VP of Marketing for Appcelerator.  In addition to comments about Appcelerator’s hugely popular Titanium platform (over 65,000 developers signed up and over 4,000 apps in the market place built using Titanium!), Schwarzhoff made some observations about app development in general.  According to Schwarzhoff, about 70% of apps are created for the iPhone and 30% for Android.  He also observed that app ideas tend to show up as an iPhone app first, with Android apps soon following.

This 70/30 number is about to undergo a big sea change.  The press release this week for the new T-Mobile G2 quoted Google’s VP of Engineering Andy Rubin as saying there are now more than 80,000 apps in the Android Market – an increase of 10,000 apps in the past month.  We heard earlier this summer from Google CEO Eric Schmidt that 200,000 Android devices were being sold every day.  IDC revised its forecasts to put Android ahead of iOS in market share by the end of this year and ahead of BlackBerry OS by 2014, second only to Symbian.  Of course, forecasts are forecasts and may or may not pan out (see this post from PCWorld about the accuracy of forecasts in this corner of the tech world), but 200,000 devices sold a day cannot be ignored.

Bottom line – by all accounts, Android is gaining market share.  Right now, 60% of apps in the Android Market are free.  As the economics of the Android Market change, the percentage of free apps will change as well.  As it does, there are real opportunities for Android app developers.

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