The number of apps that have been posted to the Android Market has just reached the half-million milestone, but how many of those apps are still around? That is the question that has been the real point of interest for observers in the industry. The biggest difference between the Android Market and the iTunes App Store is the vetting process.
If I want to publish an app to the Android Market today, I can. If I want the exact same app on the App Store, I have to submit it for review and wait for someone at Apple to click the "Approve" button.
As a result, as anyone would easily expect, a lot of Android apps are removed after they're published. In fact, research group Research2Guidance says 37% of the apps on Android Market have been removed. That's compared to 24% for Apple's App Store.
So the actual number of active apps in the Android Market as of the most recent quarter is 319,161. For the App Store, it's 459,589.
The iPhone has about a one-year head start on Android, so it's not surprising that it has more apps. But there is still very much a sense that if you want to be a successful app developer, you should go to iOS. Android is an afterthought.
As a result, the hundreds of thousands of apps that exist on the Android Market are largely less professional or ambitious than those on the App Store.
In this day and age, apps are everything, so even though Android can boast a pretty impressive quantity, it needs to focus more on its quality.