Google Play has more downloads than App Store, but less revenue in Q1 2014

16 Apr 2014

Android’s lead in the smartphone market has placed it in the top spot for downloads on the Google Play store, but Apple’s App Store still generates greater revenue, a new report suggests.

The report released by App Annie shows that in Q1 2014, Google Play downloads exceeded those from the App store by 45pc, particularly in the emerging markets globally, such as Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey.

However, despite a lower number of downloads, the Apple App Store still has the highest revenue gains from downloads, largely tied to in-app purchases in games.

Gaming apps still maintain their position as the No 1 category of downloaded apps on both Android and iOS, and was also the highest generator of income, accounting for 75pc of all revenue on iOS and even more so on Android, credited with 90pc.

The report also found that communications apps had perhaps the biggest boom to date, given the news surrounding WhatsApp’s acquisition by Facebook, Rakuten’s purchase of Viber, and Alibaba Group’s investment in Tango.

There also appears to be a considerable rise in the ‘tool’ category for the Google Play store covering apps such as Norton Antivirus and Clean Master, as users become more conscious of material that is being downloaded onto their phone after a recent report found 42pc of apps downloaded on Android contain malicious software.

While the US remains high on the list of nations that generate the most revenue for developers, one of the biggest surprises may be the importance of the Japanese market, as App Annie’s findings show the island nation comes second in revenue generation on iOS and first in the world on Android.

Its much larger neighbour China, meanwhile, is now the leading revenue generator for iOS, with revenue having grown by 70pc quarter-by-quarter. This growth is largely due to the iPhone 5s’ 2012 release into the Chinese market.

Apps image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic