As Android Market hits 10 billion downloads, Google runs down stats

by Phil Hornshaw

The Android Market has officially hit 10 billion downloads, which Google is celebrating through next week by marking down 10 apps each day to just 10 cents each. It also has compiled a bunch of new data about the Android Market that casts some new light on the thriving, growing Android app ecosystem.

TechCrunch has the story, citing a big info graphic Google released explaining some of the ins and outs of the Android Market. Among the most notable insights into downloads taking place through Android is that the U.S. ranks as No. 4 among countries in terms of downloads per capita: it’s beaten by South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Singapore takes the No. 6, followed by (in order) Sweden, Israel, Denmark, The Netherlands and Norway.

Games continue to dominate downloads in the Android Market (they also dominate in Apple’s iTunes App Store), accounting for 25.6 percent of all Market downloads. Of those, arcade games (the category into which Angry Birds falls) account for the biggest slice: 39.25 percent of all game downloads. Brain games come in second with 22.08 percent, followed by casual games (think FarmVille) with 17.68 percent. Sports games were the smallest chunk of the games pie, with just 6.41 percent of game downloads.

After games, Android users were most apt to download entertainment app, clocking in at 12.2 percent of downloads, followed by "tools" with 11.17 percent. The least-downloaded category? Travel and Local category apps, somewhat surprisingly, with just 3.56 percent of downloads. That could highlight the differences between developers generally located in Western nations and heavy app-downloading taking place in Asia.

Google also compiled a few goofy stats based on some of its more popular apps. As the graphic shows, 12 billion miles are navigated using Google Maps each year, while 100 million words are translated through Google Translate every week, across 200 different countries. Google sees downloads from 190 different countries each day, with peak downloading times hitting around 9 p.m. on Sundays and the lowest ebb in downloads rolling around at 4 a.m. on Mondays.

Some of that data is just for fun, but a lot of it gives a pretty interesting picture of what’s going on in the Android Market. Android device owners like games and entertainment on their devices, but they also like them to be practical. There also seems to be money to be made for developers gearing their apps toward an Asian market, as well as a European one. But really, Android is a world-wide phenomenon, and there are plenty of niches out there to exploit.

But if the rampant gains of 1 billion downloads per month are any indication, it seems Android users want more apps all the time, and developers who supply great ones should be well rewarded.