Google's Android Market has hit an important milestone, according to analytics firm Distimo.
The mobile application marketplace now has 400,000 available programs, according to Distimo. Out of that, two-thirds of the available applications are free, jumping from 60 percent last April
It's important to point out that Distimo is not the official word on available Android apps--Google is. And so far, the search giant has not immediately responded to CNET's request for confirmation of Distimo's report.
If Distimo's estimate is true, it would put the Android Market within striking distance of Apple's App Store, which currently leads the pack with over 500,000 available applications. Whether or not Google's marketplace will be able to catch up to the App Store, however, remains to be seen, since, as Distimo points out, the Android Market needed two more months to hit 400,000 available apps than did Apple's App Store.
But application store success goes far beyond available programs. Last month, Google announced that its Android Market had reached 10 billion downloads since its launch in 2008. Even better, both Google's store and Apple's App Store had a strong ending to 2011, with Android- and iOS-based device owners downloading 1.2 billion apps during the last week of the year, alone, according to research firm Flurry Analytics.
Google and Apple aren't the only companies to hit important app store milestones lately. Last week, Microsoft blog All About Windows Phone found that the Windows Phone Marketplace has now hit 50,000 available applications. Microsoft's store reached 40,000 apps in November.