Global mobile app revenue is estimated to be 139 billion U.S dollars by 2021, registering an increase of more than 224% from 2016.
We have reached the point in this digital landscape where just about every industry uses mobile apps in some capacity. Companies and developers are making money through mobile apps in different ways. Once your app gains particular popularity and ranks high in the app store, it helps you rake in a lot of money.
With about 2.8 million apps available, in comparison to 2.2 million apps on Apple App Store, Google Play Store is the leading app platform today. And it is still growing! Daily, new smartphone users join the Android world — Android users are over three times more in number than iOS users.
Now, a lot of us would assume, with a higher number of available apps for download and the number of users, apps on Google Play would drive the most revenue, but the reality is a whole lot different from this. So if you are planning on releasing an app soon and are confused on which platform or play store to host it, you will need to take a deeper look at the numbers each of these two popular app store drive.
Let’s see where apps make more money and whether your investment in an iPhone app development company will yield higher ROI or Android is the way to go.
Where Do Apps Make More Money?
With respect to various factors, there has always been a difference between how much money an app makes in the Apple App Store in comparison to Google Play. However, this gap considerably widened, possibly to the highest point yet, in the third quarter of 2018. According to a report from Sensor Tower, with the most substantial revenue gap at least since 2014, the App Store earned 93% more than Google Play in the quarter.
The report said that around 66% of the $18.2 billion the total mobile app revenue generated in the third quarter of 2018, came from the Apple App Store. With an increase of 23.3%, the store made $12 billion in the quarter from the revenue of $9.7 billion in the third quarter of 2017.
On the other hand, Google Play earned a revenue of $6.2 billion in the quarter, with an increase of 21.5% from $5.1 billion it made last year for the same period.
However, from 2014 to 2019, the period under consideration, the average revenue from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store raised at a CAGR of around 31%.
And if we take gaming apps out of the equation, the disparity between the revenue from Android and iOS widens. The earning of $7 million made from Android is entirely shadowed by iOS’s revenue of $23 million. This clearly shows that Apple users are definitely more ready to spend their money on non-gaming apps.
If we consider just the gaming category, in the first quarter of 2019, the revenue from Google Play is $48 million in comparison to $70 million in revenue from the iOS app store.
Based on this report, we can say that relatively, the strength of Google Play is best reflected in the gaming category. It shows the popularity of the store is within less-mature markets where gaming apps are usually more prominent. We can also notice that the revenue from gaming apps has grown at a slower rate than the overall price, including non-gaming apps.
How Apps Make Money – Google Play vs. iTunes App Store
The most direct way to make money from the Apple App Store or Google Play is to sell your app, without any doubt. However, if you want your users to prefer your paid app over a range of free alternatives available, you will need to deliver a much better services than others. If you build an active user base that prefers your paid app over free options, then you have found the most direct way to make money from your app. However, it is not always that easy to build a successful paid app.
You want to target a particular niche for your app that provides top-notch solutions in compassion with market options. For users to pick your app, you need to solve a specific and significant problem that they are ready to pay for. Moreover, another factor to consider here is that iOS users are more inclined to but paid apps compared to Android users.
It’s not like people don’t use or download apps on Android, but they prefer using free apps. With a more significant number of global Android users, the worldwide app downloads from Google Play is higher than the App Store. That said, the higher number of users may help Android app developers to have better earning opportunities from other sources like advertising.
However, with dominance over quantity, you would assume Google to not be on the receiving end of this revenue gap, but it’s the other way around. Approximately, about 75% of devices use Android, but only a third of the total app revenue arises from the platform.
The Bottom Line:
By the end of this article, we can say that there seems to be some reality in the popular concept that iPhone users are more inclined to buy apps. Whereas Android users are more price-sensitive and to capitalize on earning opportunities for this platform, app owners need to use a more appropriate monetization structure that caters to users’ specific usage patterns.