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Android app downloads to overtake iPhone, study says

Tech analyst Ovum predicts Android will outstrip iPhone downloads this year, with total downloads reaching 18 billion. Has iPhone had its day?

Here's an interesting statistic. Android users will download more apps than iPhone owners this year, according to industry analyst Ovum.

Total app downloads will reach 18 billion this year, the analyst says, up from 7.4 billion in 2010. Blimey. Android is expected to count for 8.1 billion of those, compared to 6 billion for Apple.

And it's expected to maintain its lead too. Ovum predicts that by 2016, Android will have almost twice the downloads of iPhone apps, with the figures standing at 21.8 billion and 11.6 billion respectively. The total expected number of apps downloaded by 2016 is a staggering 45 billion. There must be some way we can become millionaires through apps.

So what's with Android's accelerating lead? A surge in handset sales is said to be the reason, counting for 46 per cent of smart phones sold in the second quarter, compared to the iPhone's 20 per cent. Budget devices may well have something to do with Android's popularity.

Though Apple haters shouldn't start celebrating too soon, as the Cupertino company will hold its lead in the paid-for segment. It's expected to generate $2.86bn (£1.79bn) through apps in 2016, while Android will only manage $1.5bn (£940m). Peanuts.

Despite its slightly stuttering start, Windows Phone is expected to overtake BlackBerry to take third place in total downloads as well as revenue by 2015. Could things get much worse for RIM?

It doesn't look like Ovum is biased either, with its own app being available on both iOS and Android.

Is this good news for us, or do you prefer Apple's approval system of releasing apps? And what can RIM do to come back? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.