Google has reason to celebrate, with Android Market breaching the 10 billion app download mark. To celebrate, Android developers are offering 10-cent downloads for select premium applications on a limited time basis.

Android is growing fast. Not only is the application ecosystem growing at a rapid rate (now 1 million apps among iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7), but the rate of application downloads is also fast-rising. Eric Chu posts at the Android Developers Blog that Android market has surpassed 10 billion downloads, with a rate of about 1 billion apps downloaded per month.

Android Market Growth 10 billion.jpg

Android apps are selling like hamburgers -- over 10 billion served in the past three years

Billions and Billions Served

It's interesting to note how quickly Android users are snapping up apps from Google's official app repository. Android Market reached 1 billion downloads in July 2010, or about 20 months after Android's commercial launch in October 2008. By March 2011 -- or eight months after -- the number of downloads tripled to 3 billion. Just two months after, that figure was at 4.5 billion in July 2011.

Android Market has been serving about a billion apps per month since then.

Learning Opportunities

Apps a Dime Apiece! Get Them While They're Hot!

To celebrate passing the 10 billion mark, Android developers are offering big discounts on a few select applications for a period of 10 days. Android Central's Phil Nicholson was among the first to notice how some apps are suddenly priced at 10 cents. Other users report being notified, Android Market offers a notice offering 10 Days of Offers -- Top Premium Apps .10 Per App. These currently include the following premium apps previously being sold for at least US$ 0.99:

  • Ashpalt 6 HD
  • Color & Draw for Kids
  • Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
  • Fieldrunners HD
  • Great Little War Game
  • Minecraft
  • Paper Camera
  • Sketchbook Mobile
  • Soundhound Infinity
  • Swiftkey X

Some users notice that Google's pricing elsewhere doesn't correspond to the current exchange rate. In the UK, apps are priced at 10p each and not 6p (which is the equivalent of 10 cents). It seems Google wants to emphasize the number 10, with 10 billion being the current milestone.

iTunes Match?

In its October iPhone 4S launch, Apple claimed to be serving 1 billion iOS app downloads per month from the App Store. At Android Market's current performance, Google and Apple are now neck and neck in terms of monthly app downloads. Still, Google has a long way to go before it matches or surpasses Apple's 18 billion app downloads to date. But it's getting there.

Google is confident that 2012 will be a good year for the Android ecosystem. How fast will the Android app marketplace grow by then?