Apple accounted for 74% of app store revenue despite Google Play having more downloads. So where is
I found it interesting to read that in Q1 of 2013 the top four app stores hit 13.4 billion downloads worldwide according to research by Canalys. What was more intriguing was that the revenue for all these downloads was $2.2 billion and Apple’s App Store accounted for 74% of this revenue even though Google Play had the greatest number of downloads, accounting for 51%. So why did Google Play have more downloads but less revenue?
The revenue discrepancy between Android and iOS is not new, back in 2011 Flurry Analytics found that if an app is available for both iOS and Android, the Android version will generate on average less than one quarter of the revenue of the iOS app. At the same time Gene Munster analysed the mobile app market and determined that at the time Google’s Market Place had generated about 7% of the gross revenue of Apple’s App Store. Munster also reported back in 2011 that while Android were likely to grow its smartphone market share faster, he noted that Apple will probably maintain a 70%+ share of mobile app dollars spent over the next 3 or 4 years, based on the most recent results this appears to be an accurate prediction.
One of the reason for this discrepancy seems to point towards the fact that Apple iTunes is a more effective ecosystem for generating revenue. With Apple, nearly every user is a potential paying customer as most Apple customers are accustom to the pay for download model. In comparison to this the successful developers within Android have not all adopted the pay for download model and either use a freemium and in-app purchase or in-app advertising model as a way to generate revenue.
While Android supporters will argue that revenues are understated due to the in-app advertising model that many developers have adopted that are not tracked it does not seem to change the fact that it appears Google Play continues to have a revenue generation