There was some noise earlier this week about Android Market having downloaded ten billion apps, and (more interesting) the rate going up to the point where it’s now a billion a month.
How might one explain these numbers?
New Devices · There are a million new Android devices landing in peoples’ pockets every two days; say 15 million a month. Make an assumption as to the average number of apps a new Android gets loaded up with, and multiply that by fifteen million to estimate how many of the billion downloads are to new devices.
Better Devices · A high proportion of apps are games, and games are more fun on the larger screens and snappier CPUs of this year’s devices; in particular on tablets. The average number of apps installed per device has gone up with each major release of Android, and that’s partly due to the hardware.
Better Software · Each new release of Android fixes bugs, adds features, optimizes the graphics pipeline, and is generally more pleasant to use. The more people like their experience, the more likely they are to load it up with this and that.
Better Market · Android Market is a lot nicer than it was three months ago, and back then it was a lot better than three months before that; and so on, stretching back over the years. So the pipeline from the developers to the devices in peoples’ pockets and purses is getting wider and smoother and more accessible all the time.
I’ll spare you my opinions as to which of these factors dominates the growth to the billion-apps-per-month figure. Have fun cooking up your own theories.