Apple App Store Generating 4X Google Play Revenue

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Apple's iOS App Store continues to rake in money for both itself and the company's army of iOS developers, out-grossing Google's Play by more than four times. App Annie issued a report (PDF) on Friday for October that found that Google Play downloads and revenue continue to lag behind Apple's App Store, but that the company is gradually closing the gap.

"The gap between monthly global revenues on iOS and Google Play is significant, but it’s gradually closing," the metrics firm wrote in its November report. "Although iOS monthly revenues are four times larger than its counterpart, Google Play October revenues are 17.9% greater than those of September while iOS October revenues are 0.7% lower than its September revenues."

In the chart below, App Annie shows revenues from January 2012 through October 2012 for Apple's App Store and Google Play. The chart shows Google Play narrowing the gap between the two platforms, and Google Play's growth accelerating since July.

App Annie Chart

The next chart shows total downloads, with iOS still leading, but Google Play narrowing the gap considerably. Both charts combine to emphasize that Android owners do not like to pay for their apps, as the gap between total downloads is much narrower than revenue.

App Annie Chart

The report included the news that Google Play revenue in Japan has recently surpassed revenue from the U.S. Google Play earned 29 percent of its revenue from Japan in October, and 26 percent in the U.S. In comparison, Apple earned 33 percent of App Store revenues from the U.S. and 14 percent in Japan.

App Annie Chart

The company also said that game developers were experiencing the most growth across both platforms.

App Annie is a metrics firm that developers subscribe to. The company said that more than 80 of the Top 100 iOS developers use the service, and that more than 150,000 apps track downloads, revenues, rankings and reviews through App Annie.

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To put this in perspective, Google's Android platform owns as much as 70 percent of the global smartphone market. In the U.S. in November, Apple claimed 48.1 percent of the market, while Android had 46.7 percent, but the reality is that there are more Android devices in the wild than there are iPhones, yet the App Store has more downloads and earns four times more revenue than Google Play.

Add to that recent reports that say Apple's iPad accounted for 88 percent of orders placed from tablets on Black Friday. As recently as June, iPad accounted for almost all tablet Internet traffic, too.

So the question is what the heck do Android owners do with their devices? Seriously, what they heck are they doing? While some certainly make the most of their devices, it seems that most do not.

Which really goes to emphasize that there are just so many ways to measure and consider market share. We've written about that frequently, but to us it seems like a lot of that Android share should be considered feature phone share.

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What do Android users do with their devices? They must be busy rooting them, side-loading apps, and using NFC at the half dozen stores that accept it. LOL. Oh, and porn. grin


First off, the Android market counts units _shipped_, not sold.  Thus when someone cranks out 500,000 crappy Android phones and get 475,000 returned as unsold when they cancel it, that 500,000 number remains in the market share totals forever and ever and ever.

Secondly, more than half Android phones are dirt cheap, bottom-feeding crap that can barely run a stripped-down version of Android, and are either given away free as part of a cheap phone plan or bought by people who insist on paying the lowest possible price.  They don’t realize how useless these ultra-cheap phones are until it’s too late to return or switch plans.

Thirdly, a lot of people who actually pay money for an Android phone do so because they hate Apple with an intensity that could burn through concrete.  Just look at the forums in Wired and other tech sites.  They’ll buy anything with the word “Android” stamped on it just to spite Apple.  These types of people rarely ever _use_ their smartphones because features are a distant second place in their list of reasons for buying Android.  I’m not being snarky here, I know several people who bought Androids just for the privilege of yelling “SHEEPLE!” at anyone using an iPhone, and not one of them plays games, surfs the web or use apps.


I have to confess to contributing to Android’s numbers… I haven’t even thought about it until reading this article, and the comments afterwards. This past summer, my wife had to fly to the States for a month or so, and was going to be driving over 3,000 miles in that time. She needed a phone for while there, and also GPS to help her get around to places she’d never been before, and driving some places for the first time alone. Rather than buy a cheap pre-paid phone and a separate GPS device, I opted to get her a cheap Android phone with Google Maps (that includes turn-by-turn voice nav). She used that phone for exactly one month, never even used any of the other apps (including web or email), and now that phone is sitting somewhere in a box in our house overseas. It’s a statistic—tiny feather in Google’s cap, but it’s a useless phone. My wife has never hated a phone as much as she hated that one—and our daughter and son (Our son has had a couple Android phones before he finally got smart and got an iphone set up the phone for her to use) found it to be a deplorable phone as well, barely capable of the minimum functionality—and the one time my wife desperately needed the GPS, it lost its signal, and rebooted, leaving her stranded until she could stop and figure out how to get it working again. I suppose I could mention my son’s two Android phones that lasted between them only a little more than a year before they both bit the dust. BTW, both of those phones were Samsung. Our family will never buy another Samsung product. Among the junky printer, flip phone, two smart phones and a camera, they were all cheap, plasticky junk that barely functioned for their original purpose. Samsung makes junk. Period.

But in any case, our family has contributed to the Android numbers, and I can tell you why we don’t buy anything on Google Play—we don’t use our phones. Garbage…


And Apple’s raking in the cash @ 4X more than Google. Which leads me to believe we’ll never see Google even double it’s revenues before it hits wall and starts being the next Yahoo. And I think you’ll see that this quarter. While Apple’s revenues will be sky high, Google’s will be flat if not well under the street’s expectations.  The end will come a lot sooner for Google than Apple.

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