Did you ever wonder how many native Honeycomb apps exist in the Android Market? If you did, then you probably thought a quick search in Google would get you the answer but your bound to be very disappointed. It’s very difficult to find an exact number on native Honeycomb apps. Google has not made the information public, most likely due to the low number of apps. The Android Market doesn’t have a good filter to separate phone apps from tablet apps along with apps that are compatible with both platforms. There are some numbers thrown out there but I decided to do my own research.
I attempted to target my search to native apps for Honeycomb which will exclude many phone apps that also work on tablets. I begin my research in the Android Market but using the search term “Android Tablet” which brings 861 results. Clearly a disappointing low number and it doesn’t get any better. If you use the search term “for tablet” you get 612 and “for Honeycomb” returns 357. The latter two search terms about equal the “Android Tablet” number at just below 1,000. The search “NIVIDIA” or “Tegra“, which is the current chipset for almost all of the current tablets, returns a measly hit count in low 100’s. Based on these searches, I would conclude that the current native Honeycomb apps are approximately 1,000. This is an extremely low number when specially compared to the rival iPad which has reached 100,000 apps.
What is the reason for the low number of native Honeycomb apps? In the beginning of the year, the number of tablets options were meager but now you have a wide variety of quality tablets. Most likely, the answer is due to the Android fragmentation. Developers can only make their app for either Gingerbread (phone) or Honeycomb (tablet) then they have to rewrite it for the other platform. This is a lot of work for app developers and may not be worth it since Android tablets have less than 5% of the market. This problem should be solved with the next iteration of the Android platform, Ice Cream Sandwich, which will merge the phone and tablet. This way developers can write one code with Ice Cream Sandwich and have it work on all platforms regardless of screen size. Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to be due out later this year and maybe by 2012 we can get exponential growth of apps for tablets.
Below are the data for the search terms I used in the Android Market. Please comment if you have a better method of determining the number of native Honeycomb apps or a good reference site.
“Android Tablet” = 861
“for tablet” = 612
“for Honeycomb” = 357
“for Android 3.0” = 81
“for Android tablet” = 68
“NVIDIA” = 150
“Tegra” = 274