iPad application downloads are outpacing Android tablet downloads by a margin of 7:1, according to data released by ABI Research.
The company estimates that iPad owners have downloaded about 3 billion apps so far, while Android is at just 440 million. The iPad is also ahead of the iPhone, which needed about two years to hit this milestone.
ABI said that there were about 120,000 apps available for the iPad as of Q3 2011 and the iPad hardware is better suited to run applications. “In terms of hardware, the iPad device still offers much more compared to the current crop of tablets in the market,” said Dan Shey, practice director, mobile services, at ABI. “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.”
The market research firm believes that Android 4.0 ICS could change the environment for apps and "close up the specifications gap between tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the iPad." For smartphones alone, ABI believes that Android downloads will outrun iOS downloads by a wide margin within the next four years. The firm predicts Android app downloads to hit 58 Billion by 2016, compared to 27 billion for Apple’s iPhone.