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Three Billion App Downloads for Apple's iPad

iPad owners are apparently the most enthusiastic about acquiring new apps from the App Store, having made 3 billion downloads in a year and a half since the original iPad hit the market.

iPhone owners needed a little more than two years to reach the same number of downloads, while rival Android can only count 440 million tablet app downloads so far, according ABI Research.

Analysts suggest the iPad's success in this area relies on the product's premium quality. As a high end tablet, the iPad encourages both developers and users to make the best out of tablet's capabilities with a significant number of apps specifically designed for it. According to PC Mag in the third quarter of last year there were 120,000 apps exclusively for the iPad on the App Store.

Dan Shey, ABI practice director of mobile services, explains the big gap between iOS and Android tablets as far as app downloads are concerned: "In terms of hardware, the iPad device still offers much more compared to the current crop of tablets in the market. Android is currently being used on many low end tablets that do not offer experiences anywhere near the iPad and this dampens the download momentum for users."

The distance between the two rivals is expected to become shorter as more high end Android tablets adopt the latest version of Google's operating system Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich.