Apple App Store makes twice the money Google's Play Store does, despite most of the world using Android
Published 21/04/2016 | 09:01
Apple's App Store made double the revenue of the Google Play Store during the first three months of 2016, despite users downloading twice the number of apps on the latter.
The iOS App Store made 90 per cent more revenue than Google's store over the period, according to analytics company App Annie.
The findings are reflective of larger changes across the overall app economy in the past year or so.
During 2015 Google took a significant lead in terms of the number of apps being downloaded, thanks to first-time smartphone buyers in emerging markets, particularly Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, the company found in a retrospective report.
In particular, Apple's iOS users in China, Japan and the US contributed close to 90 per cent of the App Store's year-on-year revenue growth, taking home close to double what the Play Store made throughout the year in those regions.
China overtook Japan between January and March to become the most lucrative iOS download market, reporting a two-fold increase in revenue year-on-year, driven almost entirely by games. These included Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey Online, Hero Moba and The Legend of Mir 2.
Apple is currently the most popular smartphone brand in China, holding roughly a third of the market. The Californian brand is followed closely by native vendor Huawei, which holds around 24 per cent, followed by third-place Xiaomi with 17 per cent.
Most popular apps
Netflix was the most popular global video streaming app, while Spotify unsurprisingly made the most revenue out of the music apps. Jay Z-owned music platform Tidal witnessed a dramatic spike in downloads following the release of Rihanna's Anti and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo exclusively on the platform, with the latter notching up more than 400 million streams during the three months. Both records have since been made available on other streaming services.
Apple customers forked out more than $1.1 billion (£750m) on apps and in-app purchases over the festive period, spending just over $144 million on January 1 alone, the company reported earlier in the year.
Apple confirmed developers have now made close to $40 billion since the Store's launch in 2008, one third of which was generated in the past year alone. The company claimed that this has led to the creation of 1.9 million jobs in the US, 1.2 million in Europe and 1.4 million in China.
Google and the EU go head to head over Android
Google is currently embroiled in a battle over its Android operating system, after it was formally charged with abusing the dominant position of its Android operating system.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for competition, accused Google of pursing “an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in internet search”.
According to the European Commission, the Play Store accounts for more than 90 per cent of apps downloaded on Android devices in the European Union.
Because Android runs on most of the world's smartphones, including handsets made by other companies, Vestager said: "Our concern is that by requiring phone makers and operators to pre-load a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customers."
The Californian giant has 12 weeks to respond, and faces fines or a change in operations, if found guilty.
Kent Walker, senior vice president and general counsel of Google said: “Android has helped foster a remarkable -- and, importantly, sustainable -- ecosystem, based on open-source software and open innovation. We look forward to working with the European Commission to demonstrate that Android is good for competition and good for consumers.”