Google’s popular app store – Google Play now has 15 billion apps downloaded. Yesterday a UK newspaper – The Independent reported that Google Play could soon reach the 15 billion app download milestone, but today TechCrunch confirmed the reports stating that the milestones had already been achieved a few weeks ago.
Ever since its launch on 23rd October 2008, Google Play which was back then known as the Android Market has grown at a tremendous rate. When it first launched speculations were ripe that it might not be as successful as it was seen more of a desperate measure by Google to counter Apple’s thriving app store, which was launched earlier in July, the same year.
Over the last few years Google has managed to attract a lot of developers and this has been largely due to improvements in their Android OS in the last year or so. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest offering in the series of Android Operating Systems, and it is fast establishing a market of its own, thereby invoking a keen interest from the developer community to invest their time and money in this app store.
Rival Apple’s app store reached the same milestone in July 2011, which means that even though Apple had a very small 3 month head start to Google’s app store, still it managed to reach the milestone almost 8 months in advanced, which is another indicator as to how well their app store has been doing. But Google is finally there and they can’t be complaining.
Apple app store’s last official Press release about their most recent figures was in March this year, when Apple announced that they had crossed the 25 billion downloads mark. That’s 10 billion downloads in 8 months. While Google’s last official press release was in January this year when they revealed that their app store has crossed the 11 billion downloads mark, which makes it about 4 billion downloads in 4 months. Simple maths says the ratio is 1.25 billion downloads per month for Apple and 1 billion per month for Google. Considering the rate at which Google Play has been growing, it seems the day when they will go past their only competition in Apple is not so distant.
But there is still a lot that Google can learn from their rivals. In terms of revenues paid to developers Apple is an absolute charmer. Apple has already paid its app developers some $4 billion dollars compared to Google’s seemingly paltry sum of $320 million, that’s even after the difference between the total number of apps between the two has decreased significantly. Apple app store now has over 600,000 apps while Google Play has over 500,000. Which essentially means that even though the developers are churning out hundreds of apps for Google Play they aren’t getting paid as well as they would have if they were developing for the Apple app store.
Google’s court room battle with Oracle has indeed been revealing a few interesting things about the Android platform. A judge recently revealed how Android had been leaking a lot of money from Google’s pockets in 2010. But the document which he cited also revealed that Google expected Android to incur losses amounting to $113 million in 2010 and that it expected to have profits of $64 million in 2011, $248 million in 2012, and $548 in 2013. And the recent rise in app downloads on Google Play which is obviously the app store catering to the Android OS market suggests that Google’s estimates might be on the spot, and if they are, then there is no telling how much money the Google Play store is going to make for Google in the near future.
Industry insiders often say that when it comes to Google, expect the unexpected. An app store that’s on the rise gives Google an opportunity to lure developers and show them that Android is the platform they would want to be working on, build more apps and generate more revenue thereby giving Google another opportunity, this opportunity in question is without question the one which drives Google’s business – make more from advertisements. Amazing isn’t it? I say with Google, you should expect the expected (no that is not a typo).