iPad owners just can’t get enough apps

Owners of Apple’s wildly popular iPad tablet just can’t seem to get enough apps. 

Indeed, iPad users are estimated to have cumulatively downloaded three billion iOS applications since the launch of the device in 2010 – representing 
19% of all cumulative downloads by Apple users. 

Interestingly enough, the iPhone took as long as two years before achieving the same level of downloads, while the iPad made it within nearly a year and a half.

So how does Google’s mobile Android OS stack up in comparison? Well, Android-powered tablets weigh in at around 440 million downloads thus far.

“Discounting all those apps that were originally developed for Android smartphones, Android still trails greatly behind the iPad in terms of its tablet app offerings,” explained ABI Research analyst 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.”

Meanwhile, ABI Research analyst Dan Shey noted that besides offering a larger quantity of iPad-specific applications, Apple’s iPad apps are generally considered to be of better quality compared to Android tablet-specific software. 

As of Q3 2011, there were 120,000 apps published specifically for the iPad.

“In terms of hardware, the iPad device still offers much more compared to the current crop of tablets in the market,” said Shey.

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.”

However, Shey emphasized that this would likely change as manufacturers adopt Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)  and accelerate product development to close the specifications gap between their tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the iPad.