Droids vs iThings, Who Got the Money? Who Got the Downloads?

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App Annie’s hands have been on the pulse of the mobile app world for sometime now and a recent snapshot from the firm provides trends in the global app market. The analysts scoured through 150 countries for user downloads numbers and more importantly, the cash thrown at app developers. From the estimates, Google Play users download a lot of stuff at 45% more than Apple AppStore users. This is an improvement over the 35% recorded in Q4 2013. In both stores, games drove the numbers although a lot of interest is shown in the tools category for Google Play.

Rapid growth in the sale of Android devices has driven Google Play numbers especially in Mexico where there has been a 75% increase in smartphone sales and in Turkey where government device programs have driven device sales. Android users are however thrifty when choosing their apps, this is shown by Apple AppStore trumping Google Play on revenues by 85%. This gap is however being steadily closed by Android, increased spending has been observed for the UK and US markets.

iOS gained 1 million users after it clinched a deal with the world’s largest mobile carrier – China Mobile. This makes China a major contributor to the AppStore’s download and revenue numbers. Smaller markets such as South Africa and Vietnam also recorded impressive growth in the AppStore. China places 3rd in AppStore revenues and 2nd in downloads. iOS still trails Android in the Chinese market but preference for 3rd party Android app stores means Google Play numbers are repressed in the country.

Revenue contribution by the games category play a central part in both stores, games are responsible for 90% of the revenues on Apple’s store and 75% of Google Play revenues. Messaging has also indirectly contributed to gaming revenues with China’s WeChat being credited for the success of 4 hits by App Annie.

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