Apple’s App Store Faces Rising Competition From Google Play

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According to a report from National Bank Financial (NBF), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a major competitor in the mobile app world. Google’s Playstore is very quickly catching up to Apple regarding the number of apps they have to offer. The latest tallies show that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has approximately 650,000 apps available for download, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play is closing the gap with 600,00. According to the report issued in May, the Apple app store had 645,000 apps, while Google only had 500,000.

This means that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has managed to close a gap of 140,000 apps in less than a fiscal quarter. To put it into perspective, over the previous quarter, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) developed only 5,000 apps, While Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) developers managed to turn out an astounding 100,000 apps.

While this may not really affect Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s market share of mobile sales in the next quarter, considering that the iPhone 5 is rumored to launch next month, it may have a long term impact on how many people continue to use the Apple app store. Mobile app users tend to migrate to the company who can offer the best apps at the greatest value to them.

How do the consumers respond to the app offerings by the two tech giants? Well, according to the report, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) surpassed 30 billion downloads during the month of June, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) moved past 20 billion shortly after. Both companies increased by 5 billion downloads from the previous quarter.

There is a third app maker to be considered, though they do not nearly begin to compete with Google or Apple in the numbers arena. Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM), the maker of Blackberry phones, also has a special app store dedicated to its flagship line. However, the share of the market they own is tiny compared to Apple and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), who are dominating that market, thanks to the iPhone, and Samsung’s Galaxy series.

Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM) offers 100,000 apps, and has approximately 3 billion downloads recorded, which is 1 billion more than the previous report indicated.

There you have it, Apple still leads the market, but Google is closing fast. One major factor in the race to keep the top position could be the final ruling in the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930). The final arguments have been delivered, and the jury is deliberating. It’s only a matter of time before we find out who will emerge on top in the case. The outcome could have an effect on public opinion, as well as require one or both of the companies to revamp their product. We will have to wait and see.