Google Android Market tops 10 billion downloads

Androids Market apps still trail Apple App Store but lead is shrinking

Google today said its Android Marketplace surpassed 10 billion app downloads -- a growth rate of 1 billion app downloads per month.

Google noted too that the pace at which apps were being downloaded was starting to speed up and that it took 22 months to reach 1 billion downloads but only one month to go from 9 billion to 10 billion.

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To celebrate, Google's Eric Chu, director, Android Developer Ecosystem, said the firm said it would for the next 10 days sell a new set of apps that normally cost between 99 cents and $6.99 for 10 cents each.

For example, the company today features 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.

While Android app growth is substantial, Apple said its App Store had its 15 billionth download in July. But that lead could be short lived.

In a recent Network World article, Gartner said Android-based devices accounted for a whopping 52.5% of all smartphones sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2011. In all, consumers bought around 60.5 million Android smartphones in the third quarter of 2011, or roughly triple the 20.5 million Android smartphones purchased in the third quarter of 2010.

Gartner's findings mark the first time that Android has accounted for more than 50% of smartphones sold in the world. Research released last quarter by Canalys showed that Android-based phones accounted for 48% of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter, as the 51.9 million Android phones shipped in the second quarter of 2011 represented a nearly fivefold increase from the number of Android phones shipped in the second quarter of 2010.

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