Google celebrates 25 billion app downloads

Steven Loeb · September 26, 2012 · Short URL:

Customers will be offered 25 cent apps, special collections over next five days

The question comes up all the time: Android and iOS? I know so many people who will swear on one or the other (though I must say I know more people who will never buy Apple than who have ever said anything bad about Android) that its hard to know which to choose. The two companies are constantly battling for domination of the market, so when one hits a milestone, like Google did today, they will use it to try to drive sales even more.  

Google Play just announced that it has hit its 25 billionth download. And to reward its customers for their loyalty, Google is getting ready to offer them a whole bunch of discounts and special deals.

To commemorate the achievement, Google will be offering discounted apps, as well as special collections, to its shoppers over the next five days.

Apps from top developers, such as Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, runtastic, and Full Fat will be available to download for just 25 cents each on Google Play. On top of that, Google will be creating collections, such as 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world and our 25 top selling magazines, at discounted prices.

“Twenty-five billion is more than twice the distance, in miles, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has travelled since its launch 35 years ago. It’s the amount of time, in minutes, that have passed since some of our earliest ancestors began to set foot in Europe. And now, thanks to all of you, it’s a Google Play milestone. We look forward to the next 25 billion,” Google digital content director Jamie Rosenberg said in a blog post Wednesday.

Google Play, which was known as Android Market until March of this year, first became available to users in October 2011. It combined Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into one.

Google or Apple?

So now that Google has hit this major milestone, how does it compare to Apple?

Since Google has been selling apps in one form or another since October 2011, that means it took three years and 11 months to get hit the 25 billion download milestone. In comparison, Apple, who hit the 25 billion download mark back in March, beat Google by a few months, taking just three years and eight months to get to the same number.

Google play is the home for 675,000 Android apps, while Apple announced during its iPhone 5 unveiling earlier this year that it offers 700,000 apps, 250,000 of which specifically for the iPad.

Apple also announced during the unveiling that it had sold 400 million iOS devices, while Google has activated over 500 million Android devices, Hugo Bara, Android's director of product management, in said in a Google+ post earlier this month.

While the two companies are neck and neck in most of these numbers, there is one where Apple clearly beats Google: in how many people actually pay for apps.

A report from Statista in August showed that two thirds, or 66%, of Android users did not pay anything for the apps they downloaded over the course of a year, compared to only 30% of iOS users. So while Android may be closing in on Apple's app downloads, only Apple is actually making money off of them.

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