Apple isn’t Google’s biggest fan. Steve Jobs believed that Android was a stolen product, and Apple’s lawsuits against Samsung (and others) are an expression of that feeling of being wronged. So it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that Apple chose today – the kickoff of Google I/O – to announce a major milestone. We’re talking 50 billion downloads of App Store apps.
No matter the motives for Apple’s timing, that’s quite an accomplishment. As reported by The Next Web, the last we heard from Apple on this front was in January. Then the mark was 40 billion downloads. Ten billion downloads in four months? Not too shabby.
Apple likes to celebrate these occasions by holding contests. So, it’s dishing out a US$10,000 gift card to the customer who snagged the 50 billionth app. A few runners-up get $500 cards ... mere drops in the ocean of Apple’s war chest.
Apple vs. Google ... againJust a few hours before Apple’s announcement, Google touted that Android had hit 900 million device activations and 48 billion app downloads. It’s hard to call 2,000,000,000 of anything a minor difference, but that’s a relatively small gap. The App Store was around for a while before Google Play (formerly the Android Market) arrived, and Android has a larger global market share. So it’s a reasonable assumption that Android will pass iOS in this department before long.
Companies will joust, boast, puff their chests out, and try to one-up each other. This is a prime example of that. But for customers, it really just tells us that both platforms – and mobile devices in general – are thriving. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last three years, there’s nothing surprising about that.