Android app downloads take a mighty blow on iOS apps

Google Inc’s Android operating system passed Apple Inc’s iOS as the most popular software platform for application downloads as consumers bought more Android smartphones.

The Google platform accounted for 44 per cent of all app downloads in the second quarter, eclipsing Apple’s 31 per cent share, according to ABI Research. That was fueled by a 36 per cent jump in Android phone shipments from the previous three months, ABI said.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, introduced Android in 2007 as an open-source platform, allowing any phone maker to use it for free and focus on designing hardware rather than software. Android has helped propel Samsung Electronics Co into the ranks of top smartphone makers and drive a recovery at Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc even as sales of Apple’s iPhone surged.

“Android’s app downloads per user still lag behind Apple’s by 2 to 1,” said Dan Shey, practice director of mobile services at ABI.

Global downloads of games, music, news and other apps are expected to rise to 29 billion this year, more than triple the 9 billion downloaded in 2010, ABI said.