In the war of the smartphones, the manufacturers have been always ready to scathe the lack of features or redundancies of competitors. Apple has pointed to security flaws in Android; the latter has scorned the lack of standard features in iOS. RIM, Nokia and Microsoft have whispered a thing or two as well. However, at the end of it all, Apple has been happy to tout the applications available to iPhone users, which are around the 350,000 mark as of March 2011.
And that has been a punch strong enough to silence many. After all, the true usability of any smartphone is the things that it can do. With the social mesh being formed across national borders, the application industry has been the boom story of the past few years, with a worth of several billion already as it crosses from infancy to the juvenile age. For Apple, the iPhone was not a hardware device to help people communicate, but a solution that would open up new frontiers for many.
But a recent report on all App Stores by market research firm Distmo has revealed a stronger growth rate for two of Apple’s competitors: Google and Microsoft.
The study found that if the current growth pace was maintained for the next 5 months, Android Market would become the largest app store in terms of number of applications, followed by Apple.
As interestingly, Microsoft Phone 7 Marketplace was steal 3rd spot from Blackberry App World and Nokia Ovi Store.
The climb by Microsoft to overtake RIM and Nokia is down to a strong foundation laid down by its Windows Phone 7 OS. While the 1st generation devices left users feeling empty, the next generation and collaboration with Finnish giant Nokia could see more versatile and interesting handsets entering the market as soon as the second half of 2011.
In terms of free applications, the Android Marketplace has already attacked the Apple App Store and made strong headway, pumping 134,342 apps versus 121,845 for the iOS. Most analysts have laid this down to the greater freedom allotted by Google to developers of Android apps, especially when compared to the tough tactics incorporated by Apple. However, the growth pace also resonates the appeal that an open environment holds in the public eye, as more first-timers launch themselves and their app into the global domain.