Android Market is about to hit a milestone symbolic of Google closing the gap with Apple, raw stats indicate. At the current rate, the Android store should reach 100,000 total apps before the end of July, and as of now is already over 90,000. The rate of growth is now high enough that AndroLib estimates over 15,000 apps were added in June alone.
The figure isn't official and hasn't been confirmed by Google. Formal calculations of app counts have usually been conservative and attached to other launches.
The increases have sometimes been timed with the releases of new Android phones; the first major spike began around the launch of the Droid in November of last year, and the most recent increased rate began roughly in April or May, around the unveiling of the Droid Incredible. Google's decision to hand out free HTC Evo 4G phones to every developer at its Google I/O conference in May may have helped fuel more effort, although that only touches on a few thousand developers, some of whom were already been committed to Android.
Its expansion if accurate puts Android Market much closer to the iPhone's App Store in sheer quantity. Apple's last official count puts it at 225,000 apps, but its growth rate may now well be significantly slower. Android Market was at just 50,000 apps as of April and suggests a sudden influx of interest that didn't exist before. Concerns exist that Android focuses too heavily on free apps and that far fewer paid or professional level apps, but the rush suggests a newfound interest in development that may include developers that would otherwise have been iOS-only. Key companies like Amazon and Sling Media have in recent months begun porting apps that had previously only been available on other platforms.