Android beats App Store on freebies, soon will overtake in paid apps

by Howard Wolinsky

Google’s (GOOG) Android Market store has aced Apple’s (AAPL) App Store for iPhone in sheer number of free apps for downloads, researcher Distimo is reporting.

And there’s more on the horizon. The Android Market is poised in the next few months to overtake the App Store for iPhone in total app numbers in the heated app wars.

Distimo has reported that the Android Market offers 134,342 free apps compared with 121,845 free apps from at the App store for iPhone.

Emil Protalinski said in TechSpot: “This is great news for Android consumers, although Android developers probably aren't too thrilled. Furthermore, the number of paid apps on the Android Market is about one third of the total number of paid apps available in the Apple App Store for iPhone, according to app store analytics provider Distimo.”

Is it all a numbers game?

Lee Mathews said yes in Geek.com: “In the mobile operating system world, few things seem to carry as much importance as the size and quality of your app store. Apple has held the crown ever since the iOS App Store launched in 2008, but … Google’s Android Market has been gaining ground rapidly. Distimo, in fact, says that the Android Market will boast a larger collection of mobile apps than the App Store sometime this summer.”

Distimo forecasts that within five months Android Market will overtake the Apple App Store with the largest number of apps, followed by Windows Phone Marketplace, BlackBerry App World, and Nokia Ovi Store.

Mathews advised Google to step up and promote itself against Apple’s slick ad campaign: “Now if Google would just get a sexy ad campaign together so people watching TV had some idea that someone else offered thousands of cool apps for mobile devices…”