Android Apps could eat Apple’s lunch by mid-2012

The latest research indicates that Apple’s reign as king of the app stores may have less than a year to run. Unless that is, Apple has anything up its sleeve during that period —and so far the iPhone4 S doesn’t appear to be a trump card.

Research from Xyologic shows that Apple’s monthly app downloads in the US are roughly double those being racked up for Android at 494 million versus 279 million in August. Most of the Apple apps are for the iPhone at 417 million vs. 77 million for the iPad. Xyologic adds, however, that current trends indicate that that Android's app download rate will surpass that of Apple as early as June 2012.

Android has already overtaken Apple in some markets including the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal but the trend will not reach global proportions until the middle of next year. That is also when the number of Android apps on the market should finally catch up with the number of apps in Apple's App Store.

Unfortunately Xyologic's data has a big hole in its coverage of the global market for Android apps—that of China. Android apps can be obtained in many different storefronts in China, and current estimates of the market could be way off the mark. Still, Apple appears to have a lot of incentive to boost its App Store downloads to stave off growing demand for Android apps.