New research from Digi-Capital has found that Android is outperforming iOS not just in terms of the greater reach of its user base, but also in terms of revenue generated from app store downloads.Digi-Capital notes that accepted research indicates that iOS makes more money that Google Play, despite Google Play’s greater reach, however, when including the Chinese market for Android, the picture changes.
“Include the massive Chinese Android app stores, and Android didn’t just dominate download volumes, it made more money than iOS last year,” Digi-Capital stated.
While iOS and Google Play are the major players outside of the Chinese market, Digi-Capital noted the Chinese app ecosystem “now looks fundamentally different to all other markets”, with five major groups – Baidu, Apple, Qihoo 360, Tencent and Wandoujia – competing in the world’s largest download market.
Looking at revenue data and research across global app stores, including China, changes the picture from iOS versus Google Play to iOS versus Android. iOS generates the most revenue of any one individual app store globally (followed by Google Play and Chinese Android), however all Android app stores combined passed iOS revenue at a global level for the first time in 2014.
“In other words, iOS made less money than Android last year,” Digi-Capital stated. “And that’s a big deal.”
Digi-Capital notes that iOS generates “far more revenue per download than other app stores”, with Google Play apps needing well over twice the download volumes on average compared to iOS to make the same revenue.
“Google Play is a great place to operate, but the long-term trend of lower revenue value per download compared to iOS seems set to continue,” Digi-Capital stated. “If developers can hit high download numbers, there is good monetisation to be had on Google Play.”
Meanwhile, in the Chinese market apps must on average generate more than eight times the number of downloads compared to iOS to make the same amount of money.
iOS may be poised for further growth in the Chinese market. Digi-Capital notes Apple had the highest smartphone market share in China in quarter one in terms of sales, meaning the balance between iOS and Android could potentially change again by the year’s end.