How Google Play trumps App Store for app downloads but lags behind on revenue

August 1, 2013

Leveraging data from its App Annie Intelligence index, the company came to the conclusion that Google Play downloads topped App Store downloads for the first time in Q2, and by a significant 10%.

The firm attributed this to higher activity in emerging markets like Russia, India, Brazil and China (talking of which, 3 of the top 10 downloaded games on iOS were from Chinese developers in Q2), although Android’s leadership in the smartphone space and growing adoption in the tablet market would also likely have played a part.

However, all is not lost for Apple. App Annie maintains that the iOS App Store brings in 2.3 times the revenue of Google Play, a finding which would fall in line with earlier reports on Apple owners being more willing to spend money on apps.

App monetization would appear to remain tricky for developers in general — a report from Strategy Analytics back in November revealed that free apps will account for 91% of all apps by 2017.

Looking across both platforms and the App Annie report found that games still drive most revenues, with Google Play perhaps surprisingly just edging Apple's App Store (80% versus 75%).

There were other areas of interest too though, with music and social networking app revenue increasing on iOS, and communication rising to number two on Google Play. But in another sign that Android devices are probably less-often used for work, travel apps displaced productivity as the fifth most popular app category.

(App Store monetization will be one of the key issues discussed at the upcoming Tablet Ecosystem conference in New York on November 13)

Apple celebrated 50 billion downloads on the iOS App Store in May, a figure which Google wasn’t far off (Google Play had approximately 48 billion downloads) when it held its annual developer conference one month later.

Google’s download figures should however skyrocket in the next few months, what with the ever-increasing number of Android devices on the market and the new release of Android 4.3.

The firm has also made steps for developers to improve apps for Android tablets, which is perhaps unsurprisingly considering researchers reckon Apple’s iPad will dominate tablet downloads through to 2017.


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