Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made quite a ballyhoo last month as its Apple App Store neared the 50-billion-download threshold, going so far as to give away a $10,000 gift card to the lucky downloader. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been reaching its own impressive numbers in its Google Play Store, where Android devices have reportedly achieved about 48 billion downloads thus far, nearing that 50 billion mark.
So now the question is, who will be first to 100 billion downloads? With the universe of mobile devices growing by leaps and bounds every year, it’s pretty certain that the next 50 billion downloads in both the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Store will likely accelerate over the first 50 billion. But there has been much talked about that the Google Play Store will eventually overtake the Apple App Store in terms of total downloads – perhaps as early as this winter. There are articles out there that seem to be playing this as a battle of popularity or which one is better than the other once based solely on the number of downloads that are performed in each store.
Anyone who knows a little bit of middle-school or high-school math can easily be as cynical or skeptical as we are about whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has the best or most popular app marketplace. If we look at several numbers objectively, there can be an argument that the Google Play Store, just because it may have more downloads in the next few months, won’t necessarily be the most popular marketplace among the Android or iOS users. Got a pencil? Ready to consider this?
Let us look at the most recent market survey by Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, which we reported on yesterday. Both Android and iOS gained market share in the most recent 2013 quarter compared to a year ago, where the two operating systems consist of more than 93 percent of the overall smartphone market. If we divide that number, Android makes up 41.7 percent of the market, and iOS 41.4 percent. If we look at those numbers in terms of ratios, there are 1.25 Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices in the market for every one Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS device.
So what does that have to do with downloads and popularity of the app stores? Stick with me on this.