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iPad downloads five times as many apps as all Android tablets

People with iPads download five times as many apps as all Android tablets combined, but can the Google Nexus 7 change that?

People with iPads download five times as many apps as all Android tablets combined, another stark reminder of how much Apple dominates the tablet market. But can the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD change that?

The figures on app downloads come from ABI Research's Mobile Application Markets Research Service, which tots up numbers of app downloads and the money made from them.

The service estimates that five times as many apps were downloaded for the iPad than by all Android tablets put together in the first half of the year. That's before the Nexus 7 and a number of other popular tablets were released -- but also before the iPad mini, which takes the fight to the iPad's smaller rivals.

Despite fine showings from the likes of the Asus Transformer series, no Android tablet has seriously challenged the iPad at the tills, selling in only small numbers while the iPad continues to do boffo business. It seems for the average consumer 'iPad' is synonymous with 'tablet' and vice versa -- hence the disastrous failure of the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Changes are afoot in the world of tablets, however. The first potentially disruptive event is the arrival of the Nexus 7, a cheap-as-chips Android slate that re-invents what a tablet can be -- and how much it should cost. Last week the 7-inch Nexus 7 was joined by the Nexus 10, which is the same size as the iPad and is therefore a direct competitor -- only £100 cheaper.

The Microsoft Surface is also gunning for the iPad, Microsoft gambling big on tablets. The whole look and feel of the radically revamped Windows 8 is designed for tablets and touchscreens, and unless you've been walking round with your eyes closed in the last week you'll be well aware of the amount of money Microsoft has thrown at advertising the Surface. Whether that ambition is matched by a decent lineup of apps remains to be seen -- at the moment its Marketplace is woefully understocked.

Meanwhile, when it comes to smart phones, the situation is reversed: phone app downloads are dominated by Android blowers, while people with iPhones download less than 30 per cent of apps. The iPhone figure is in decline, but figures for later in the year should be given a boost by the arrival of the iPhone 5.

One major reason for the decline of iPhone downloads is that Apple has clamped down on download bots that automatically grab apps to boost the download count and push an app further up the iTunes charts.

Do you have insatiable appetite for apps? What are the essential downloads for iPad, iPhone or Android? Tell me your app thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.