The number of apps in the Android Market has almost doubled in just three months, Google confirmed today in an update. Where it had officially reached 16,000 apps by mid-December, the search company now says the official marker has jumped to 30,000. Its figure includes both free and paid apps, although it wouldn't tell MobileCrunch what the ratio might be.
The surge is most likely to be a direct result of accelerated Android phone sales, which could fuel both interest in apps and the corresponding development. Google chief Eric Schmidt at Mobile World Congress told those gathered that the company's partners were shipping 60,000 Android phones per day versus just 30,000 before. The Motorola Droid, its GSM-based Milestone equivalent and a continued wave of phones from HTC are the largest contributors.
The share still leaves Android with just a fifth of Apple's over 140,000 apps for the iPhone but makes it a clear second in app availability. Smartphones which were relatively late or limited entries to app stores, such as the BlackBerry, Palm's webOS devices and Windows Mobile, typically have a few thousand apps or less.
Google may get a further boost through two initiatives that were unveiled just today, including shipping an AT&T-ready Nexus One and making paid Android apps available in Canada, initially through Rogers.