Lookout: Android Market Growing Faster, But App Store Attracting More Developers

Lookout, a company that offers security services for a number of smartphones, is releasing a new study today examining the Android Market and Apple’s App Store for U.S. users. It’s worth a look—the report has a number of interesting data points relating to growth, developers, mobile ad networks and more.

According to Lookout, the number of apps available for Android increased approximately 127% since August 2010, while iPhone saw a growth rate of 44%. Of course, the fact that the Android Market is growing faster isn’t new. And if apps continue to be developed for each platform at the same rate, Android apps will overtake iPhone apps in mid-2012.

While the Android Market may be growing at a faster rate than the Apple App Store, the Apple App Store continues to attract a significant portion of developers. The App Store attracted nearly 24,000 developers between August 2010 and February 2011, whereas the Android Market attracted just over 4,000 developers in the same time period.

The number of unique developers in the Apple App Store grew by approximately 48% over the past 6 months, while the number of unique developers in the Android Market grew by just over 40%. The Android Market generally has more apps per developer than the App Store. The average number of apps submitted per developer is 6.6 in the Android Market and 4.8 in the App Store.

In terms of free versus paid apps, previously, apps in the Android Market have been primarily free; however, over the past 6 months, the Android Market has seen an influx of paid apps. In contrast, the Apple App Store has seen an increase in the proportion of free apps, with prices of paid apps remaining steady, says Lookout. The Android Market saw its prevalence of paid apps grow from 22% to 34% during the past 6 months. The number of paid apps in the Apple App Store decreased from 70% to 66% in the past 6 months.

In terms of mobile ad networks, the AdMob SDK is integrated into more free apps in both the Android Market and the Apple App Store than any other ad platform. However, Lookout says that iAd is quickly gaining traction on the App Store and expects to see iAd surpass AdMob in prevalence amongst free Apple App Store apps during the first half of 2011. iAd has grown in prevalence from just 5.6% of free Apple App Store apps to 15% during the past 6 months

Lookout also examined the number of apps that access users location, claiming that the App Store has a higher percentage of apps that access contacts and location. According to the report, 28% of all apps in the Android Market and 35% of all apps in the Apple App Store access location. Plus, 7% of Android Market apps and 13% of Apple App Store apps have the capability to access contacts.

Lookout’s web-based, cloud-connected applications for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry phones help users from losing their phones and identifies and block threats on a consumer’s phone. Users simply download the software to a device, and it will act as a tracking application and a virus protector much like security software downloaded to a computer. The startup also sponsors the App Genome Project, which is a mobile app dataset created to map the anatomy of mobile applications across multiple mobile platforms and app markets, to provide insight into mobile market dynamics and identify security threats in apps.