A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a set of charts from the analytics firm, Apple's revenue from app sales is about 70 percent higher than Google Play, while Google's downloads outpaced Apple's by 70 percent.
Both firms were helped by increased downloads from emerging markets. Google was able to increase its downloads over iOS to 70 percent, up from 60 percent in the third quarter of 2014 (the last time the study was done). Android downloads grew significantly in emerging markets such as Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey. However, Apple was able to capitalize on its enormous growth in China -- which, the report notes, now downloads more apps than the US.
The disparity in terms of revenue each company and its developers see from app sales, however, continues to be starkly different. The gap is thought to be caused by the fact that most Android devices are very low-end, and bought by budget-restricted consumers who only deal with free apps, if they load any beyond the default suite at all.
Most iPhone owners, however, are better off on average, and are also likely to purchase apps they enjoy or use frequently. This in far more average revenue to developers -- and thus keeps iOS at the forefront of new apps, new app debuts, exclusives, and other incentives that make the iOS platform more attractive to both developers and typical users.
Unlike the inverted difference between volume and revenue, both Google and Apple saw increased presence due to the rise of app downloading in developing markets, of about 10 percent. Google had been slowly moving upwards in terms of revenue growth, but still lagged far behind Apple until recently. The introduction of the larger-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has temporarily stymied much of the growth of Android hardware, and thus has also inhibited the growth of new dollars for Android app purchases. Apple and independent surveys have reported an uptick as well in the number of Android switchers to iOS, though this data mostly comes from mature markets such as the United States.