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Google Will Soon Steal Apple's App Store Crown, Study Says

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Well, Apple. It was nice while it lasted. Kinda.

New data coming out of the Dutch analytics firm Distimo reports that Apple's App Store will soon no longer house the largest number of apps for any mobile platform. By July, it claims, Google's Android Market will overtake it as the "World's Biggest App Store."

Coming just a few days following a study that showed potential smartphone buyers were more interested in Android than the iPhone, Distimo's analysis shows that if the Android Market continues its upward trajectory, it will surpass Apple in as little as three months.

Although, All Things Digital's John Paczkowski notes that the Android Market already contains a greater number of free apps than the App Store.

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Distimo says, "The Apple App Store for iPhone is the largest store in terms of all applications available; however it was among the slowest growing stores in terms of relative growth in March." Adding, "Regardless of its low relative growth, the Apple App Store for iPhone was still second only to Google in terms of absolute growth figures."

Oddly enough, the Android Market's rate of growth contradicts another report that claims developer interest in Android has leveled off, which could affect Distimo's timeline data.

"If all application stores maintain their current growth pace, approximately five months from now Google Android Market will be the largest store in terms of number of applications followed by the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, BlackBerry App World and Nokia Ovi Store," Distimo estimated.

The firm also accounts for the steady rise in Windows Phone 7 app development, as well as Nokia's dismal future. "The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will also be larger than the Nokia Ovi Store and BlackBerry App World prior to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace being available for even a full year." But judging from the graph, BlackBerry's Appworld will follow Microsoft's development along with it.

It should be noted, however, that Distimo's forecast is based on only the past three months of activity. Even the firm acknowledged that development across all platforms "could easily accelerate or slow down."

Admittedly, it's a bit difficult to envision that, by July, the Android Market will have more than doubled the number of apps it had in January. But come 2012, it seems possible that we'll have a new king of the app stores.

(See also: Android, Not iPhone, Most Wanted Among Buyers and New Android Market Trumps Apple's iTunes Store)

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