Android overtakes Apple in mobile app wars

Android overtook Apple's iOS to become the world's biggest mobile app seller in the second quarter.

The Google OS took 44 per cent of all mobile app downloads in Q2 of 2011, compared to iOS's 31 per cent, ABI Research reported.

"Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success," claimed Lim Shiyang, research associate at ABI.

"Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores. These conditions alone explain why Android is the new leader in the mobile application market."

Android now has an install base that exceeds iOS by a factor of 2.4-to-1 globally. By 2016, this will rise to 3-to-1, according to ABI.

However, it seems Apple users are more dedicated app buyers, with Android's app downloads per user behind Apple's by 2-to-1.

Android under attack

Elsewhere, all is not well with Android. Outside of the numerous court cases Google is involved with relating to its mobile OS, the platform is increasingly under attack from cyber criminals.

Over the past week the security world has focused on a piece of Android malware which was able to spread using a QR code.

If users scan the relevant QR code, they receive a link which will lead them to a malware download. Once downloaded, the malicious software will try to send messages to premium numbers from the affected device.

Android Attack

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.