In September alone, the Android Market gained 42,000 applications--a new record.
However, 37% of the 500,000+ applications have been decommissioned, unpublished, or pulled for a wide variety of reasons. That leaves (approx) 315,000 applications still up and active in the Android Market.
Conversely, the Apple iPhone App Store has received more than 600,000 app submissions. Fewer of them, about 24%, have been pulled, though. With the higher submission rate and lower decommission rate, that leaves Apple with approximately 456,000 active applications, says research2guidance. (Apple claims to have more than 500,000 iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch applications).
"Although Apple regularly cleans up its store from inappropriate or outdated content, its active application share still exceeds that of Android," said research2guidance in its report. "It is likely that the more rigid application submission requirements prevent developers from publishing multiple trial or low quality applications whereas publishers in the Android Market place a lot of market testing, trials, demo, and malware content. Over 78% of the apps removed from the Android Market were free, which could mean that publishers put more effort into the applications they place with the pay-per-download business model, thus ensuring that it is kept longer in store."
Even with the number of apps pulled from the respective markets, developers have been exceedingly busy. In mid-September, we learned that the number of applications created by developers for the Android and iOS platforms surpassed the one million mark.
Appfire, which compiled the total number of apps in September, pointed out that this is not the total number of apps available for download in the iPhone App Store and Android Market. "Only 800,000 from the 1 million apps are available for download, i.e. active; the others are either being finalized or have been removed from the stores," Appfire said. Research2guidance's numbers fall in line with Appfires, though they don't mesh completely.
What about other app stores? Microsoft's Marketplace for Mobile has north of 35,000 applications and research2Guidance looked at those figures, too.
"The share of deactivated apps in the WP7 Marketplace today stands at just 13%," it wrote. "However, WP7 Marketplace is a comparably young store and many publishers are still exploring its potential. Fifteen months after its launch (comparable to the WP7 store now), the Android Market similarly had 86% of its apps active and a significant application store clean-up didn't get started until the end of 2010."
Clearly developers have picked the platforms that offer the best chances of earning them some income. Apple's iOS platform and the App Store have driven huge growth in the mobile application market. When the App Store launched in 2008, it started with just 500 applications. It's truly amazing to see how far the industry has come in just a few short years.