Google May Pass Apple in Mobile App Downloads, Xyologic Says

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s software platform for smartphones and tablet computers is gaining users faster than Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s as customers download applications for the mobile devices at a quicker rate each month.

Use of apps for Google’s Android operating system are growing at a “hyper-exponential” rate that may push it to catch up to Apple in June 2012 and then take the lead, said Matthaus Krzykowski, cofounder of Berlin-based download tracker Xyologic, in an interview. Last month Apple’s operating system was ahead with 1.45 billion downloads, including “Angry Birds,” to the Android system’s 640 million, according to Xyologic data.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, is gaining traction in mobile apps as its phones grab market share and as developers choose to make applications for Android. In August, 42,659 applications were developed on Android, about double the amount for Apple’s iOS, according to Xyologic.

“In the coming months we will see a number of countries where Android becomes platform option number one if you are looking for the largest audiences,” Krzykowski wrote in his Xyologic report. App downloads for the Google software already top those on Apple’s iOS in Poland, the Czech Republic and Portugal, Krzykowski said.

Google is also picking up former customers of Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM)’s Blackberry and Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) smartphones. Android devices’ market share grew to 44 percent in the quarter ended in August from 38 percent three months earlier, ComScore said last week. RIM’s mobile-phone market share fell to 20 percent from 25 percent, and Cupertino, California-based Apple kept its 27 percent share.

An Apple phone user was more likely to pay for a download in August, Xyologic found. About 20 percent of the applications downloaded on Apple mobile devices cost money, compared with less than one percent on Android, according to Xyologic.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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