Watching AndroidLib's real-time estimation of downloaded apps from Google's Android Market is an amazing thing. Currently, it's pegged at 126 apps per second—yes, per second. Which means it won't take long to hit the four-billion mark, because it's already at 3.97 billion.
The pace is obviously lightyears ahead of Research in Motion and Microsoft, but it's remarkably how quickly Android has gained momentum, when it seemed back in 2007 and 2008 that Apple was poised to execute a market share stranglehold (as they successfully did with the iPad).
Anywhere from 700 to 1400 new apps are published in the Android Market per day, with more being added monthly very consistently: back in July 2009, less than 2,000 apps were added, but in July 2010, nearly 20,000 apps were added. March saw just under 35,000 apps added, which puts the Market on pace to see roughly 42,000 new apps downloaded in July 2011—not the 10-times growth from 2009 to 2011, but a consistent 20,000 apps-per-month growth for two consecutive years.
So it's no surprise that Gartner just released a report suggesting Google's smartphone OS will expand its worldwide share to half in 2012—that's a big marketshare number and that's not a long time away.
Who's gonna complain about all that? Not Google.
Apple? Maybe, but after the Motorola Xoom (running on Android's Honeycomb 3.0) sold just 100,000 units in the U.S. during its first month—compared with one million for the iPad, and probably three million or more for the iPad 2—I think Apple will be fine coming second in the smartphone market so long as Steve wears the crown in the explosively high-growth tablet space.
Checkmate, both of them.