Google's Android Market now sports over 400,000 available applications, with almost two thirds of those being available for free. And it's rapidly catching Apple's iTunes App Store, which topped the 400,000 mark (for iPhone) back in June last year.

Data monitor Distimo claims that Android Market reached the 400,000 milestone at the end of December 2011, and that 68 per cent of those apps are free to download. That number has grown steadily, with 60 per cent being free in April 2011, although part of the reason is that many applications have adopted a freemium model, with in-app purchases recently.

Around 100,000 publishers are also active on Android Market, with each developer producing, on average, 4.1 apps, but that has dropped from an average of five per publisher a year ago.

It has taken Google two more months to reach the milestone than it did Apple, but in recent times the growth of Android Market has been faster than that of the App Store. The rise between 200,000 and 400,000 has also been more rapid than it was on iOS.

Distimo's figures do not take into account apps removed from the Market, only those that are currently active.

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