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Given our increasing reliance on mobile, it comes as little surprise to learn that the app market continues to grow with each quarter, with the results from the Q1 period that just passed being the most impressive to date. According to research firm Canalys, a total of 13.4 billion apps were downloaded during the three-month period, an 11% increase over Q4 2012. With total revenue of $2.2 billion, it's clear that the vast majority of downloaded apps are free, void of in-app purchases (those are counted into the $2.2 billion).

Those 13.4 billion apps encompass the four leading app stores; Google Play Store, Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World and Microsoft Windows Phone Store. While Apple leads the pack in the revenue department (exact numbers are not provided), Google leads with the raw number of downloads; 51% in total. Apple is apparently not too far behind, with RIM's and Microsoft's respective app stores sitting far in the distance.

While it'd be easy to discredit either RIM or Microsoft for their paltry results, Canalys strongly believes they shouldn't be ignored. Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd notes, "Each of these four stores represents a different market proposition for developers, and remains the primary outlet to reach users on the platforms they serve." That's reasonable, but he also goes on to state that both of these stores need to assure that more fresh, innovative content hits their catalogs - obviously, ports are going to hold little interest for most people.

On the BlackBerry front, the BB 10 store has reached a total of 100,000 apps, up from 70,000 at launch. Given its total marketshare of downloads, this is actually quite impressive. Google, by comparison, houses around 700,000 apps, while Apple unsurprisingly leads with about 800,000. Microsoft, as of this past January, noted 150,000 apps available through its Windows Phone Store.

How many apps are you responsible for downloading?


Crazy to think that many apps were downloaded but I completely understand it. If Google is really the leader in app downloads im curious to how they will monetize all that to take over Apple's spot for most revenue or will they keep sorta like android and try to stay free as possible.


I wonder if the growth is from actual usage or people experimenting downloading free apps to try out and uninstalling them etc.

It could have some correlation that as publicity is drawn to mobile app markets and people see the money values associated with them you get more app developers and makers, and thereby more free apps that people download and uninstall relatively quickly as well.

I think it would be more interesting to see app purchases (not including free with in-app purchases) to see if what people are actually downloading and using is growing