Google’s Android Market should have more apps than the Apple iPhone app store by August, according to forecasts by research group Distimo.
“The Google Android Market is predicted to have only 40,000 applications less than the Apple App Store for iPhone by the end of June 2011, and will close the remaining gap before the end of July 2011,” the Dutch research house reported.
The projection for Android Market’s lead was based on a comparison of average month on month growth rates for the past three months.
Android Market’s 16 percent growth was higher than the rate for iPhone and iPad apps, which grew 6 and 12 percent respectively.
The Apple App Store in March had 333,214 iPhone apps and a total iOS count of 367,334, compared with Android Market’s 206,143, according to Distimo’s figures.
Apple also had a 75,755 iPad app lead on Google’s Honeycomb OS for tablets, and other tablet operating system rivals such as BlackBerry and HP.
Despite Android Market’s rapid growth in total apps, the number of paid-for apps paled in comparison to Apple's offering. Android Market had 134,342 free apps, 10,000 more than the iPhone App Store, but only one third as many paid apps available.
Distimo predicted an interesting battle for third spot in the war for apps. While BlackBerry’s Appworld is expected to take third spot by July, ahead of Nokia’s Ovi Store, the research group hedged its bets on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Marketplace eventually taking third spot.
“At its current growth rate, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will be larger than the Nokia Ovi Store and BlackBerry App World before the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has even been available for a full year.”