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Android Market will outgrow iPhone App Store this summer, report claims

Researchers believe Android will outgrow the App Store in terms of the number of apps available sometime this summer -- it already has more free apps.

The Android Market will surpass the App Store in terms of the number of apps before the end of July 2011, TechCrunch reports.

The prediction comes from analytics firm Distimo's latest report. A second-firm, Berlin-based research2guidance, agrees with Distimo, predicting Android will outgrow the App Store by August.

The analysts expect the Android Market to reach 425,000 apps over the next three months, becoming the largest app store. It seems likely given the impressive growth rate of April alone, with Android developers adding more than 28,000 new apps. iOS only added 11,000.

This is not the first time analysts have predicted a Jobsian smackdown, with forecasts claiming Windows Phone will overtake iPhone by 2015 in March.

Distimo showed Google's Android has now more free apps for download than Apple's App Store, though the App Store for iPhone remains first in the number of all applications available.

Smaller numbers doesn't mean less money, however -- quite the opposite. It looks like the App Store will still dominate in revenues according to a report by IHS Screen Digest showed earlier this week. Apple is expected to make $2.91bn from apps this year, while Google will have to settle for just $425m, thanks to iPhone users being much more likely to pay for their apps.

Apple may have dominated the marketplace, but Android is clearly stepping up the pace. Just look at a few of the latest Android mobile releases: the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S 2 are all fantastic phones.

Android's come a long way in an amazingly short time. Should Apple fear its impressive growth? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image credit: research2guidance