Android fastest growing application store? Not so fast... | webOS Nation

Android fastest growing application store? Not so fast... 51

by Derek Kessler Thu, 25 Feb 2010 1:04 pm EST

Application Store Growth - where

That’s not to say that the Android Market isn’t growing quickly. It is. As our friends at Android Central pointed out (noting an insightful application store study done by Distimo), the Android Market is growing by more than 3000 apps a month, which equates to 15% of the total available apps. That’s cool, but we feel the need to clear our throats and say “Wait a minute...”

Here’s the deal: Palm’s webOS App Catalog hit 1000 apps on January 1, 2010. Since then 561 new apps have joined the catalog, a pace of 10.2 new apps per day. Or 310 new apps a month. Or 20% growth per month. Or more than 15%. If you’ll pardon the indulgence, “Ha ha.”

More analysis after the break!


Free apps vs. paid apps Regardless of who gets bragging rights, it’s good to see webOS app growth expanding - and we’re only talking about approved App Catalog apps. Distimo also looked at what apps cost in the various app stores. Palm, as it would turn out, has the second highest ratio of free apps to paid, with 32% of App Catalog apps available for nothing, while the Android Market is a whopping 57% free. Though we should point out that the Android Market is an open store where apps don’t have to go through any sort of approval process like Palm’s or Apple’s. Read Write Web points to anecdotal evidence that developers may be dissatisfied with the Google Checkout process used in the Android Market, which stands in opposition to the much simpler one-click processes used by the App Store and App Catalog.

App store average price comparison What’s also cool is the average price, with the App Catalog surprisingly landing at the bottom. Distimo averaged the cost of all paid apps and found that Palm apps cost an average of $2.53, the lowest amongst competitor app fronts from Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion, Google, and Nokia. The Windows Mobile Marketplace and BlackBerry App World both blew app prices out of the world, with an average of $6.99 for Windows Mobile and a stunning $8.26 for BlackBerry. Apps even cost wildly different amounts on opposing platforms, with an app like IM+ costing $4.99 on the iPhone App Store while the same app on BlackBerry runs $29.99. Yikes. IM+ on webOS? $9.99.

[via: Read Write Web]

Thanks to everybody that sent this in!


Build Quality (TM) problems chart please? How many structural failures per month?

Damn man, you just never quit with that huh? Well I for one have had 0 failures in 6 months.

why is it that every time i click "recent" in the app catalog it brings up old apps. are these being counted twice?

They have been updated, and so are "recent" again.

I always thought that was because a new version was released so it moves it to the top of the "Recent" list even though an older version was out previously.

blackberry apps suck too!!! All that money for nothing. Andriod got some pretty cool apps and the iphone, it's a many apps it's hard to find an app without using the search and exact name of the app.

I wish WebOS had Androids Google Sky Maps. Man, that app is awesome. You point your phone towards a star or planet and on the screen, it shows you what you are looking at....turns your phone into a planetarium!

I agree it would be awesome but as far as I know, the pre doesn't have a compass, and the android phones do, so while gps can so us as a dot on a map, it can't tell which way we are pointed, and android phones like G1 and some others, know where north is and can tell which way you are looking. That's one of the few things I envy re android

I read about the compass too. I would have thought Palm would have built it in the Pre but maybe for the next gen.

I just wish there was a way to count the useful apps. Dijit and Brighthouse is just a waste of time.

+1 on that!

BTW, I saw a patch to hide the crappy apps by designer from the official app catalog. It just grays them out really.

It's "Hide App Vendors ver. 1.3.5-25" from dsevil.

Take those out and we're nowhere near 20% growth. But I'm guessing the other guys have their share of crap too.

And they've each got thousands of useful apps, and at least hundreds of essential apps. Meanwhile I'm guessing I've got maybe a dozen or so apps that I REALLY like, and maybe a few dozen more that I occasionally use (or at least like just because there isn't really anything better - kind of how I enjoy playing the Helicopter Game, but only because we don't have things like Doodle Jump. If webOS had iPhone quality games, ignoring the recent EA/GameLoft-style games, I wouldn't be so interested in the Helicopter Game or AirTraffic).

I'm beginning to fear that webOS needs the goods, and soon. It is pretty unsettling when Android is adding more apps each month than webOS has gotten in the past 8 months.

Brighthouse is a joke. Some company in india got booted out of the iPhone's app store for doing the same thing that brighthouse is doing. They're simply flooding the catalog with easy to develop apps. Instead of marketing one or two really great apps they're relying on only a few customers to buy each app therefore giving a "steady revenue stream.

It's BS and I guarantee I will never buy anything from brighthouse or dijit. I value quality.

Dang, Android is getting 10 times the apps per month as WebOS. For a person that likes new apps, this is seriously making me question which platform to go with once my contract is up. My buddy has Sprints Hero with Android and it's impressive.

Seriously, You really need 3000 apps/month vs 300? The sheer # of apps would make you move? How many can you possibly really hear about, then look into, then pay for, download, and use?

I'm not saying 300 is the perfect number if 290 of them are crap -- I'm certainly not defending the brighthouses of the world. But if among those 300 are 50 truly interesting and valuable apps (which could realistically boil-up to the top through publicity and forum word of mouth), then I'd be happy with 50 good ones per month anyday (on any platform - WebOS, Android, or Iphone).

Finally, I'm not much of a game player, but you aren't going to find WebOS-quality games on Android right now.... the scope and types of apps as well as the power and feature-set support of the OS is much more important than the quantity alone (or % increase)

Problem is we are not all interested in the same 50 apps. You would probably only be interested in 20% of the apps I am. So, between the two of us, we need at least 90 apps.

Ok, maybe not 3000 a month and I'm all for quality over quantity but right now, I would love to see more quality apps each day than what we're getting.

On another note, I'm surprised Palm isn't adding a lot of the quality patches into their updates. Like 4x4 icons for risky could it be to just add the option?

Or how about adding launcher pages? I've got like ten launcher pages, because I like having all my apps viewable on each page instead of having to scroll a TON like I did when I still had the standard three pages and huge icons. Surely Palm realizes that as apps get added, it might be useful to be able to sort them by page.

I defintely agree with you on that Brad. Palm definitely needs to pay attention to the work going on here in Patches. Some of the stuff should just be no-brainer enhancements to the WebOS core.

let see Android has 5 diff versions over two diff linux kernals. Just to down load a Android App you have to know what version you have. Look before leap.

what a stupid story. % just says nothing ind this context.

if I have a OS with just one app to start with and a month later e.g. 10 apps. that would mean an increase of 900%. but does it mean, that it would be the app store that grows the fastest? and if yes... what does it really mean in the context of the absolute numbers?

You're missing the point. The original article made their conclusion based on percentage. Using that same metric, PALM'S App Catalog, NOT Android Market, is the fastest growing. Interpret that however you like.

Personally, I am sick and tired of having to defend and speak up for Palm to clueless analysts and tech "journalists" (ala David Coursey over at PC World). More of us need to step up and spread the word. Leave comments. Tweet. Email. Get out there.

That's true, but it doesn't negate the fact that percentage is a stupid way to look at progress. That would mean apps would have to be produced exponentially and if that happens, I doubt Palm is hiring people exponentially to check out apps and add them to the catalog. IMO, overall rate should be the deciding factor, but even that doesn't take into account the crapware. When they introduce an app that has 10 variations, it really shouldn't count either. It's the same app just in a different language, or with different jokes or whatever.

I agree. This is a retarded story. I would take 3000 new apps a month over 300 anyday.

And just because our % is a little bit higher, doesn't mean anything. Of course our % is going to be higher because we have the least amount of apps in any of the catalogs!!!!!

What if this report had been done when we only had 50 apps in the catalog? There was a day when palm released 20 new apps. WOW that day was a 40% increase.

Think about it. This is moronic. Plus about half our apps are garbage crap from Brighthouse and Dijt or whatever that s&it company is.

Agreed - basing this on percentage is not what matters. 300 apps takes X developers, and 3000 takes around 10X. How many app developers are working on a platform IS critical, and helps determine the market momentum. There isn't anywhere near the effort for WebOS apps as there is for other platforms.

The Droid was a key launch - it really pushed app development for the Android OS. Palm would need a new killer device to spark that momentum level for WebOS.

And I say this as someone who really like his Pre. Great phone, love the synergy, and it makes my life easier. I just hope in 2012 I have a great Palm device and don't have to switch to Android or something else.

blackberry apps suck too!!! All that money for nothing. Andriod got some pretty cool apps and the iphone, it's a many apps it's hard to find an app without using the search and exact name of the app.

I like their Pandora and Slacker apps but I agree that the rest are pretty weak...

Good Article!

Apps for palm have definantly increases and fast. Cannot wait to see how many apps we have by the end of year one.

I just want better, useful, or really inovative apps. I have minimal apps on my phone, cause as I scroll through in the catalog, I say "dumb. Dumb. Wtf. Dumb. Not worth the money" I have to sacrifice awesome UI for awesome apps?

Article forgot to remember that webOS can also run (via motionapp) over 30000 palm os apps. Some of them are old but some are still useful.

This doesn't mean jack.

The % is answer because of the lower number of apps.

Android getting 3000 new apps a month is phenomenal. Why do those developers not also develop for the superior platform?


My app store opened in January.

It had 1 app in it.

I just added 4 more.

Thats a 400% increase.

I'm so cool. NOT.

Was this the best good news we could get after all the hammering of Palm as of late.... ? (boo)

+1 Agreed

I am no longer paying attention to any of these polls or statistics. Palm is doing fine. It's the newest OS to the table so numbers will be low - don't be surprised. I'm for certain that after this major update...which hopefully lands today...along w/ the strategic moves of opening up the app store to our INTERNATIONAL owners, a developing session @ GDC, jumping onto AT&T then Tmobile networks, and releasing it's PDK publicly. If you're not going to have faith in Palm then get an Android or iPhone...see how long it takes for them to get updates.

...webOS will surpass everyones expectations!

How can 3000-14000 new apps per month even be useful? There's no possible way to keep up with it... Studies like this totally ignore quality for quantity and style for substance...

Personally, my estimation of the math looks like this....

There are maybe 30-40 more apps of varying degrees of features and value that I would ever see myself paying for. Assuming my preference only represent a minority of use-cases, let's throw on a 10x factor to that and say there are maybe 300-400 good apps out there to really be made (and perfected) maybe upwards 1000-2000 if you interject some competition within some of those categories.

Let's assume after that, there's technology evolution... another 200-300 per year should suffice either supercede & replace current apps or deliver features not currently available today.

Currently, all of our app needs are definitely not met by the Palm ecosystem, we'll most certainly get there. But on the other hand, we're nowhere near 148,000 apps behind the Iphone or even 18,000 behind Android.

That's my 2 cents. Let's get back to focusing on quality and filling in the feature-set voids.


Dude -- you've already established yourself as a Troll here. I'm sorry if english is not your native language, but I said nothing close to "Let's stop making apps." Quite honestly, the absolute or relative growth in the App Catalog is not a good metric for the quality of the devices. As far as apps go, the more the merrier, but there's probably a pace of development somewhere near the simple math I went through above that is sufficent to make 99% of poeple happy with what their phone / PDA / camera / video / web access devide does for them.

To address your Trollish reply above, I've already accounted for the fact that there might be 10 other classes of users who are totally different from me and therefore create demand = 10x of what I'd like to see and use.

Seriously, get a life.

Have you all seen this?

Worldwide Handset Data - January 2010
Palm Pre 0.9% change 0.2%

A .2% increase sounds small but.....

Consider that the change was a higher increase then the iphone and the only phone with a higher growth was the droid.

Keep in mind this is data for January and Palm was not on Verizon till late in the month.

you know before i sent this in to pre central i always thought wow my friend sure does get alot of free apps with his iphone which does seem to be the case now but they sure do have more quality free apps but they have all so been around a while.It just shows that our app catalog is growing but id love to see more free apps for the pre


I'm very angry right now :EVIL are getting it for free; unlike pc sw. Maybe if you were charged for updates, your language might improve. Try reading the earlier article on how the updates are distributed.....

hahaha I wont get that mad until I miss an opportunity where I could have made an awesome vid of something going on and shared it for the world to enjoy...but so far today's been blah.

I'm sorry, but who cares about the percentage increase? If Palm had 1 app and went to 2 would anybody brag about a 100 pct increase? Of course not. 3000 new apps beats 600 new apps regardless of how many were around before. When WebOS starts beating the other guys on number of new apps, then we'll have something to talk about.

I will give this to Palm though, they have the potential of having every app written for Apple ported to them which could make their numbers increase rapidly.

Retarded article. Retarded logic. Stop trying to spin for Palm.

Please remove this story as time tired of hitting refresh and seeing it over and over again.. just put anything different up... please 1.4 come. lol

So why doesn't Palm count all the apps that were made for treo's and everything, they are still apps and they do work on the palm pre with Classic,

those apps really suck on the hero. Iheatradio is ok.

those apps really suck on the hero. Iheatradio is ok.

I have been a Palm supporter for a LONG time. That being said, this is a ridiculous, stupid article. Let's just admit that Palm is getting their teeth kicked in: repeatedly.

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