With Google Play and the Apple App Store crossing 700,000 apps each recently, one would like to know how many apps have been downloaded yet, and what the future holds for these marketplaces in the future. As per a report by IHS, formerly called iSuppli, downloads in both stores combined will cross 85 billion by the year 2016.

IHS states that over the past few months, Google has made some improvements to the Google Play Android app store, helping boost app monetisation. App discoverability and integrated operator billing partnerships have improved, and users are now prompted to enter credit card details when registering with new devices.

Google Play to recieve more revenue than Apple App Store in the future

Google Play to receive more revenue than Apple App Store in the future

IHS states that despite the improved monetisation of Google Play, it will lag behind Apple’s App Store, in terms of smartphone app revenues in 2012. The app revenue generated so far this year is $1.68 billion for Google Play, and $2.53 billion for the App Store. However, by the beginning of 2014, the number of Google Android devices will allow Google Play to overtake Apple’s App Store in terms of revenue.

In terms of the number of apps being downloaded, Google Play will overtake Apple’s iPhone due to a greater installed base of Android devices. This translates to 20 billion smartphone app downloads for Google Play, compared with 11 billion for the iPhone in 2012.

The report states, “But this some 31 billion apps is child’s play to where the stores will be going in the future. We forecast that by 2016, some 85 billion smartphone apps will be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play – nearly tripling the number from 2012”.

The result of increased adoption of smartphones globally, and a larger installed base of Android phones compared to iPhones will see Google take the lead in global smartphone app revenues by 2016.

Google Play store now houses over 700,000 apps, and it reached the milestone one week after the Apple App Store. Google Play and App Store are now miles ahead of the Windows Store. Microsoft recently announced that the Windows Store has around 120,000 apps in its arsenal.

A report by Bloomberg states, “By luring software developers to its Android platform, Google is attempting to eliminate a key selling point Apple has used for the iPhone and iPad. Applications have become a battleground as the two companies look for an edge in the $219.1 billion smartphone market, akin to how Microsoft Corp. dominated the personal-computer business by getting other companies to write programs for its Windows operating system.”

Google recently rolled out an update (version number is 3.9.16) for its official marketplace for Android apps, Google Play. The latest update to the store allows you to remove apps from the All Apps list, which records all your app downloads to date, in addition to remembering your location in lists, and new icons for notifications and installed apps.

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