Jan. 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM ET
Choices are becoming more abundant in the Android Market, which has just hit 400,000 apps in the first flush of the new year.
Distimo, a Netherlands-based company that tracks app store data, posted a blog entry that shows it reaching that milestone over New Year's weekend, with free apps as the majority of the active apps. The market began the year with about 150,000 apps, reaching 200,000 in April and 300,000 in August.
The Apple App Store reached 400,000 in June, and now has more than 500,000 apps.
What Distimo research shows is consistent with the increased popularity of other Google products: While it may have started off a little slow, the Android Market has rapidly closed the gap with the App Store within the past year.
Sure, it's only natural given the proliferation of Android handsets and tablets out there (more than iOS devices) that there would also be a bigger demand as developers realized the potential market in the audience. The Android Market, after all, has recently reached another milestone: 10 billion downloads. It's crowded out there.
But, as with downloads, handsets and tablets, Android is a system that picks up fast.
Overall, Distimo tracking showed it took the Android Market 31 months to reach the 200,000 apps point, while it only took Apple 22 months to do the same. But, after that it took fewer and fewer months for Android to cross each subsequent hundred-thousand mark.