Remember way way back when iTunes passed the 1 Billion download mark? That was four years ago. The iPhone app store passed 1 Billion downloads only a year and a few months ago. Finally, our beloved Android has hit the same magical number!

According to Androidlib, the Android Market has just surpassed 1 billion downloads. They’ve also reported that there is now over 100,000 apps on the Android Market, however these somewhat contradict Google’s own official reports of 70,000.

Well now it looks like Apple have real competition, in the form of Google and Android. It’s the open source machine against the limited Apple developers. Android is attracting many more developers than Apple because of the less stringent qualifications and the fact they get to keep all the profits for themselves.

The Apple app store grew at a rapid pace, but I’m not sure if it grew as fast as the Android Market has, and is. It took just under 3 months to get from 50,000 apps to 70,000 ( or 100,000 depending who’s figures you believe). But the most impressive figure is still the 1 billion downloads.

Now it’s not clear whether or not the download figure includes updates to apps, because I’ve experienced several apps that have been update 4 or 5 times since I first downloaded them and that would attribute greatly to the download figures. Regardless, Android is really picking up pace now, and growing rapidly. Over 14,000 apps appeared in June, and so far in July, another 10,000 have popped up! The rate of growth is staggering, and can only be fueled on by the great android smartphones like the HTC Incredible, Motorola Droid,HTC Desire, HTC EVO 4G and many more.

These superphones are the key to driving Android forward on these high powered, high end devices. All I can say is that Windows Phone 7 will have an awful lot of catching up to do when it’s released later this year. But then again, there’s no better company than Microsoft to splash loads of money at it.

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