It’s being reported that there are now 700,000 applications available inside the Google Play store, which sees the two giants of the app world — Google and Apple — tied for first place. Although not officially confirmed by Google, CNet.com says its own sources agree with Bloomberg’s original report.
This means there has been an influx of 25,000 new apps since September, when Google announced the Play store was home to 675,000 apps, and that it had seen 25 billion of them downloaded since it opened in late 2008.
Apple also states the iTunes App Store contains 700,000 apps, a figure it has repeated at both the launch of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, and each time prefacing the figure with either “more than” or “over.” The last number Apple officially provided was back in June, when it announced there were 500,000 apps to download.
This is the first time the two major app forces have been tied, with Apple traditionally maintaining its lead over Google. However, the growth of Google Play mirrors the growth of Android as a platform, which recently reached 900,000 activations per day and is expected to tip over the magic one million mark at the end of this, or early next year.
The amount of available apps is a crucial figure for marketing teams, as it can be used to show the operating system has a vibrant community behind it. However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality, and with interest in tablet-only apps at an all-time high, Apple still has the upper hand, with more than 200,000 of its app total being optimized for a bigger screen.
Now Google has caught up with Apple, it also serves to illustrate the gulf between the two industry leaders and their competition. Earlier this week, Microsoft told those gathered for the launch of Windows Phone 8 that its application store, the newly christened Windows Phone Store, contained 120,000 apps. A figure expected to grow at a faster rate now that the new Windows Phone SDK has been released.
Will Apple be happy to concede another one of its trophies to Google? Probably not, so expect a revised figure from them soon, perhaps when it releases iTunes 11.