Ovum predicts Android dominance in apps

A report from industry watcher Ovum claims that app downloads for Google's Android are set to overtake those for Apple's iOS, with Android accounting for twice that of iOS by 2016.

In a report covering the state of the smartphone and tablet app download market, Ovum analyst Nick Dillon makes the claim that more than five billion apps will have been downloaded in the Asia Pacific region alone by the end of the year - representing growth of 189 per cent year-on-year.

That's an impressive figure, but one which is expected to be dwarfed as the number of users looking for additional software for their mobile devices continues to rise - and Dillon claims that, by 2016, the annual app downloads in the Asia Pacific region will have grown to 14 billion.

That's great news for developers and device makers alike, but there's a sting in the tail for Apple: the majority of those downloads will be for Google's Android platform, not its own iOS.

Android devices will account for 21.8 billion app downloads in 2016, compared to just 11.6 billion for iOS, Dillon claims. There's good news for the Cupertino crowd yet, though: the tendency for many apps to be free or ad-supported on Android means that iOS will account for almost double the revenue despite half the downloads, with iOS apps raking in $2.86 billion in downloads compared to Android's relatively meagre $1.5 billion.

It's worth pointing out that Ovum's figures are projections, and a lot can change between now and 2016. With Apple predicted to continue raking it in through its App Store, however, the company might not be too concerned at being eclipsed in total download volumes.