According to a report released by ABI Research, iPad users have downloaded an estimated three billion apps since its launch in 2010. Nearly 20 percent of Apple users are downloading iPad apps. It is likely that this number is due to the fact that many apps are being made universal so those with an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch can use them on multiple devices.
ABI Research reported that, while it took about a year for iPad users to reach the 3 billion milestone, it took iPhone users two years to hit the same mark. By comparison, Android-based tablets have not even made it to half a billion with only 440,000 million downloads so far.
This low number may be due to the fact that the Android tablet market is lacking uniformity and a decent tablet-optimized version of the operating system. According to research associate Lim Shiyang, “Many Android tablets in the market are still using older versions of Android, which disadvantages users from enjoying the better effects of apps produced from more advanced software development kits.”
ABI Reseach also points to the fact that the iPad offers much more compared to other tablets on the market when it comes to hardware. “Android is currently being used on many low end tablets that do not offer experiences anywhere near the iPad and this dampens the download momentum for users,” said practice director of mobile services, Dan Shey.
Android recently released its newest operating system, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, which promises to be optimized for tablets. This new software may be what the tablet market needs to get on track to compete with Apple’s iPad.