Android could be close to reaching the 200,000 app mark based on stats from AndroLib. The unofficial count has Android Market passing the milestone at about the turn of the new year. It's unlikely so far to have crossed the mark despite the graph, as the officially hit 100,000 apps in October, when AndroLib was registering about 140,000 apps.
Unofficial trackers sometimes don't factor in apps that have been removed from the store or have been given a new name.
Reaching 200,000 should be a symbolic achievement when eventually confirmed as it will help get Android closer to Apple's still category-topping 300,000 titles. Android has been the second-fastest growing development platform and is often the main choice either for those who won't develop for iOS or who are looking to expand beyond iOS as a main platform.
Signs have nonetheless emerged that the store's growth rate may have settled in recent weeks. Developers are estimated to be posting over 25,000 apps in December, which would be a new high but just 1,000 more than were submitted a month ago. While not the first instance of a slowdown or decrease in Android Market, it would follow a broader curve of new additions cooling down. The daily app submission rate has also leveled off between now and September to a median of about 800 each day.
Neither is necessarily a sign of trouble but supports beliefs that Android is maturing as a platform and no longer seeing the leaps that characterized much of its development in 2009 and most of 2010. Device sales are still high and just recently reached 300,000 activations each day, but the number is now split partly by tablets such as the Galaxy Tab as well as e-readers and other non-phone hardware.
Apple by comparison was activating 230,000 iOS devices of all kinds at the start of September, but that number is likely to have increased since. It hasn't provided an updated app count and may also move ahead by the next official update.