Facebook has revealed figures that show that an astounding 185,000 iOS and Android apps have Facebook integration, driving downloads through Facebook’s sharing and recommendation functionality.

The figures revealed that 55 percent of the top 40 grossing iOS apps are connected to the social network. The company added that the platform drives more than 170 million app referrals to Apple’s App Store and Google Play each month as users interact with the activities of their friends on various apps.

The social network’s app centre, which is home to both mobile and web apps, has more than 22 million monthly active users.

Tablets are the future of tomorrow, so predicts Research2guidance, the analytical firm. According to a report published by them,

The number of new tablet app consumers increased by 58 million. As a result, tablet owners now constitute 8.6% of the installed app consumer base.

While in 2011,

apps in the Apple App Store for iPad grew 180% to more than 140,000 apps by the end of Q4 2011. While this cannot be easily quantified for Android as tablet apps are not separated out, the growth of niche stores and niche store categories focusing on Android tablets reflects their growing presence. For example, Archos Appslib focuses completely on Android tablet apps, while other stores like Android Tapp has a dedicated category.

During 2011, apps in the Apple App Store for iPad grew 180% to more than 140,000 apps by the end of Q4 2011. While this cannot be easily quantified for Android as tablet apps are not separated out, the growth of niche stores and niche store categories focusing on Android tablets reflects their growing presence. For example, Archos Appslib focuses completely on Android tablet apps, while other stores like Android Tapp has a dedicated category.

growth of tablet user base research2guidance thumb Tablet users to shape the future mobile app market

Also

Several studies have shown that tablet users exhibit different behavior towards app downloading/usage and mobile browsing than smartphone users.  Based on the breadth of use cases for gaming, ecommerce, digital publishing and the enterprise – tablet user growth is likely to have a marked effect on consumption in these areas.

In the enterprise, for example, tablets have already been largely implemented at upper levels of management and are quickly working their way throughout organizations – according to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in 2012, 92% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPads. As more and more use cases are developed and penetration increases, so too will the number of apps being developed for enterprise tablet users. While Apple has already carved out a niche section for iPad and iPhone Business users called “@Work”, other players like Lenovo and Cisco are trying to do the same for Android Business users.

But what about the likes of Galaxy note? The Phablet device which is quickly gaining momentum as the choice of device for user who want a tablet with smartphone functionality and vice versa…!!

Research2Guidance, the company that is behind some of the best Android related predictions has another one right on the spot.

According to the analyst firm, Android will not only overtake Apple in smartphone shipments but also in app store user numbers. Here’s how and why:

Today almost every third app store user owns an Android phone. Within just under a year and a half Android leapt from 2% to 28% in mid-2011. In 2008 Apple‘s users made up 74% of the total smartphone app store user base, however it dropped to less than 40% in Q2 2011.

As we can see, the smartphone app market monopoly is continuously transforming into a duopoly. Both platforms together comprise nearly two thirds of all potential smartphone application users, leaving all other platforms as niche players.

The battle of the OSes

Apple versus Android

It won‘t take long for Android to catch up with Apple in terms of potential application store users. Another successful quarter for Android and both will be up to par. Developers who have to choose between the two platforms will make their decisions on more than just pure reach. They will consider more qualitative user base differences and potentials, or develop for both platforms.

For most starting developers, one of the key criteria in selection of a platform is the potential reach of an application, i.e. how many people own devices running the platform and how many users they would actually reach through a chosen app store?

Previously Apple was the unquestionable leader, with the largest app store user base. If we count only smartphone users, Android is already far beyond: however the Apple App Store user base is fueled by millions of iPod Touch users and a successful iPad spread. To date, Apple has shipped over 240 million smart devices (iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads) leaving Android behind with 170 million cumulative device shipments. Given the device replacement cycles and other relevant factors, actual potential user bases today are lower but Apple still wins over Android.

So we can see the age old saying being realized in the press release – What goes up, must come down.

Stay tuned for more…!!!

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