CNet: Google to take Apple’s app crown by July

 (Credit: Distimo)

Apple frequently touts the number of applications available to iOS users, which now sits north of 350,000. But that number could be in danger of coming in second place to rival Google in just a few months time.

In a new report by market research firm Distimo for the last month of activity on Apple’s various App Stores, the BlackBerry App World, GetJar, Google’s Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, Palm’s App Catalog, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, the group found Google and Microsoft’s efforts to be growing the fastest.

“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,” the firm said in its findings. “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.”

Distimo’s research found that Google has already made headway on attacking Apple on the volume front, pushing past the App Store with 134,342 free applications versus the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch’s 121,845 free applications. The firm estimates that Google will be 40,000 applications short of evening out with Apple’s overall volume by the end of June, and will catch up completely in July.

Distimo notes that any growth estimates are gauged on the past three months of activity across the ecosystem, which “could easily accelerate or slow down.”

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