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While Apple (AAPL) forever changed mobile media with the introduction and rapid ascent of its App Store more than two years ago, the biggest story in the sector in 2010 is the dramatic growth and adoption of Android apps.
Today, Google (GOOG) announced that its Android Market has now surpassed 100,000 apps. Much more than a boutique competitor to Apple in the app space, and a road block to Microsoft forcing its way in with its Windows Phone 7, the Android operating system is poised to do for smartphones what Windows software did for desktop computers nearly a generation ago.
Not only are there more Android-based smartphones available today than iPhones, but consumers and developers alike are flocking to Android apps that are as accessible, forward-thinking and playful as virtually anything found on the iPhone.
Just last week, the hit iPhone game Angry Birds landed on Android devices. Within two days, the free app generated more than two million downloads. If game developers didn’t think there was money to be made marketing their titles on Android devices, Angry Birds is showing them that the sky is now the limit.
Beyond gaming, no serious developer or major brand (with a few notable exceptions) can launch their applications exclusively for the iPhone. From Kindle, to Bank of America to Evernote, the Android Market gives consumers fingertip access to invaluable services. There is no turning back.
Don’t be surprised to see Android double its app offerings in the next six months. By the end of 2011, chances are there will be nearly as many Android applications as there are iPhone apps (currently at 300,000).