Revenue Gap Between iOS And Android Apps Widens; Chinese Market Is Key
Because Android has always enjoyed the bigger market share, Google Play apps have always trumped iOS apps in terms of the volume of downloads. However, when it comes to revenues, iOS apps continue to hold the upper hand over Google Play apps.
But according to data offered by app store analytics firm App Annie, the revenue gap continues to grow. A big reason for this is iOS's growth in China, the largest smartphone market in the world.
As of the first quarter of 2015, iOS App Store's global revenue was about 70 percent higher compared to Google Play's. Back in the third quarter of last year, iOS's revenue was only 60 percent higher than Google Play's.
The Chinese market, obviously, is hugely critical. And it helps that it, too, is showing signs of unprecedented growth. In the first quarter of this year, China has surpassed the United States in terms of quarterly iOS app downloads.
Also, the fact that the iPhone just posted record breaking sales in China is also further evidence that iOS is truly making a killing in the Chinese market. Indeed, in urban areas, Apple got 25 percent of all smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2015. Also, the tech giant has been on record saying that the Chinese market had accounted for $16 billion in sales in the market, while the iOS platform has grown year over year outpacing the Android mobile operating system. Moreover, the number of first time smartphone buyers in China who are getting iPhones is on the rise. Of course, the massive success of the two new iPhones -- the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus -- has plenty to do with iOS's growth surge, too.
With regards to downloads by category, iOS users in China preferred Games and Photo & Video apps. For example, Tencent's Pitu is a hit with Chinese users, perhaps because it focuses on features that appeal to the local demographic. Other apps like Fotoplace and IN also performed well.
As for Google Play, its overall volume of downloads has increased by 70 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015. The increase is likely due to emerging markets such as Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil, areas wherein the number of first time smartphone owners have ballooned.
Countries leading in Google Play revenue include the US, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Taiwan. For more information, you can check out App Annie's full report.