Google: Actually, We Count Only 16,000 Apps In Android Market

Yesterday, I wrote a post on our sister site MobileCrunch about the estimated number of applications that were available on Android Market according to AndroLib, which aims to serve as both a comprehensive directory and a search engine for Google’s mobile applications store.

The service’s automated statistics pegged the number of apps available for download at over 20,000, free and paid combined. As we wrote, it was the closest thing to getting a confirmed number straight from the Googleplex.

Lo and behold: Google got in touch with us this morning to let us know that the company, contrary to popular belief, isn’t all that shy about disclosing just how many apps are available through Android Market based on internal metrics.

The actual number, a Google spokeswoman informs us, exceeds just 16,000.

I inquired about current growth numbers (i.e. how many new applications are published in Android market on a monthly basis and if this number is increasing over time) and what the ratio of paid and free apps is. (For your reference, AndroLib estimated that ratio at about 38% versus 62%, respectively.)

Unfortunately, Google responded that it doesn’t publicly disclose the breakdown of paid and free apps, although on the upside they did say they’d be exploring more ways to share information about the growth of Android Market in the near future.

For what it’s worth: we also got in touch with AndroLib to give them a chance to explain the difference in the number of apps in the Android Market they estimated are available for download and the number Google just gave us.

AndroLib says that either Google is only counting the number of apps available to users in the U.S. or is disclosing the number accounted for at the end of November rather than today’s number (doubtful), or they simply didn’t do the best job possible counting the apps by not including the correct number of apps removed from the Android Market after publication, either by Google or by the app developer (a more likely scenario).

We’ll keep it at 16,000 active applications for now.