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Android Market hits 10 billion downloads, cheap apps offered

Google announced on Tuesday that 10 billion apps have now been downloaded from Android Market and to celebrate hitting what it considers to be a milestone (yes, it is a rather large number) it’s hooked up with some Android developers to offer a selection of apps at the dirt cheap price of 10 cents. The offer will last 10 days.

“One billion is a pretty big number by any measurement. However, when it’s describing the speed at which something is growing, it’s simply amazing,” Eric Chu, director of the Android Developer Ecosystem, wrote in a post on the Android Developers blog.

He added, “This past weekend, thanks to Android users around the world, Android Market exceeded 10 billion app downloads – with a growth rate of one billion app downloads per month. We can’t wait to see where this accelerating growth takes us in 2012.”

Ten billion is pretty good going seeing that the platform was only launched in 2008, but as Chu says, the growth rate is what really catches your eye. The bar chart says it all – launched in October 2008, things got off to a slow start with it taking 21 months to reach a billion downloads. But increased sales of Android-operated phones, as well as an increase in the number of apps being added to the market, was only ever going to mean one thing.

By July this year, things were really moving for Android Market as it hit the six billion mark. In the last four months alone, four billion apps have been downloaded to mobile devices using Google’s operating system.

As a comparison, while it’s taken Android Market a shade over three years to hit 10 billion downloads, it took Apple’s App Store, which launched in July 2008, two-and-a-half years to hit the same figure.

Android Market was overhauled in May this year, making it easier for users to find and discover new apps. The revamp also addressed the concerns of developers who had been complaining that the vast majority of apps were buried deep within the store, making them hard to find.

As for the special celebration sale, apps being offered in Android Market on Tuesday include Asphalt 6 HD, Color & Draw for Kids, Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, Fieldrunners HD, Great Little War Game, Minecraft, Paper Camera, Sketchbook Mobile, Soundhound Infinity and Swiftkey X.

“Of course, none of these apps would have existed if it weren’t for the developers who created them,” Chu wrote in his blog post. “Every day, these developers continue to push the limits on what’s possible and delight us in the process. For that, we thank them. Please join us in this 10-day celebration and check in every day to see what new apps our developer partners are making available on Android Market – for only a dime.”

[via Cnet]

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