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Google Play app revenue could surpass iTunes App Store by the end of 2013, will developers follow?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google Play app revenue could surpass iTunes App Store by the end of 2013, will developers follow?
Just in case you were looking for a break from the BlackBerry madness that has been happening today, we've got some interesting news in regards to the Google Play Store, and the iTunes App Store. As any Android user will tell you, one of the biggest annoyances is that despite the platform having a huge lead in market share worldwide, developers still build for iOS first. Well, that may be about to change because it looks like the Play Store revenue could surpass the iTunes App Store by the end of 2013 or early 2014.

Google Play app revenue could surpass iTunes App Store by the end of 2013, will developers follow?
We had seen projections that said Google Play app revenues were growing much faster than Apple's App Store, and saw some numbers proving that in November, but Google Play doesn't seem to be slowing down too much. To be fair, the iTunes App Store is still the top of the heap, pulling in about 350% more in total revenue in Q4 of 2012 than Google Play did. But, Google Play is growing much faster with a 200% jump in revenue in Q4, while iTunes only managed a 20% bump. And, the year end data skews even more towards Android. 

According to the data from App Annie, Apple saw a 33% month-over-month gain from November to December, and saw another gain of close to 100% from December to January, which is quite impressive. However, Google Play saw an increase in its monthly revenues of almost 700% from December to January

Based on the latest numbers, Android was installed on almost 70% of all smartphones sold in 2012, and the data shows that Google Play is benefiting hugely from that worldwide market share. Japan and South Korea (home of Sony and Samsung, respectively) made up about half of the Google Play revenue. In total, non-US countries made up approximately 80% of Google Play's revenue in Q4. On the other side, throughout Q3 and Q4, over 60% of iOS App Store revenue came from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Google Play app revenue could surpass iTunes App Store by the end of 2013, will developers follow?
Given how quickly the Play Store is growing compared to the iTunes App Store, estimates say that the Play Store could surpass iTunes app revenue by the end of this year or early in 2014. That leads to the most important question: will developers follow? It seems inevitable, but it's still unclear how quickly developers will move over. 2013 looks to be an interesting year in the mobile space, there are a number of new platforms set to launch, and the major players behind Android are shifting.

But, even with the growth of Windows Phone, the potential for BlackBerry to regain some of its lost market share, and all of the other competitors coming to market like Sailfish, Firefox OS, and Ubuntu, it seems likely that Android will continue to be the market leader. But, developers don't follow the numbers, they follow the money. The money is growing rapidly on the Android side, so we wouldn't be surprised to see major developers start building Android first by the end of this year. 

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posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:09 2

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Is that Nexus sales included or just online stuff? In any case, incredible rise.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:15 7

2. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Just apps

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:34 4

38. joey_sfb (Posts: 5760; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

I have repurchase the few Android apps that i own on the iOS platform as well. Its really cheap with all the seasonal sales going on.

And i do observe that Android apps are generally cheaper compare to their iOS counterpart.

I wonder why?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:50

43. Ninetysix (Posts: 2388; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Here's why broseph. Have a good evening.


posted on 30 Jan 2013, 19:33 1

53. joey_sfb (Posts: 5760; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Then i heard they are releasing Dead Trigger 2 for the Android platform as well.

I wonder why since its a hopeless platform? Hmm...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 21:53

56. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

lol....Exactly. Complain about piracy...then turn around and release the sequel.

Someone mentioned it earlier....they might make as much money off of ads vs an ad free version. So I wonder do either version has ads.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:40 6

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Yup-per on the sales increase. Expect more iApps to move to Play-land. Developers follow the $.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:29 4

3. Ninetysix (Posts: 2388; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Android users are cheap and they know it. Who here owns an android device and have bought a lot of apps in the play store?

Now how many of you have pirated all of your apps?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:32

4. ghostnexus (Posts: 96; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

I'm the only one I know that buys apps from the store. I was playing king of the fighters and my friend wanted it I told I had to buy it and that want turned into a nevermind.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:36 9

5. JonBjSig (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Every paid app I have I bought with my own money.
I don't even know a single Android user that pirates his/her apps.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:46 5

42. joey_sfb (Posts: 5760; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Same here, most of my friend don't jail break phone or side load apps.

I wonder why Nintysix is so work up on this issue. Its not as if he is an Android developer or using Android devices.

He should be happy in his apple cage singing praises to his apple shrine.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:39 5

6. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)

Bought maybe 40? Just one.....
With iPhone I wouldnt be able to do any common stuff like with Android or PC, so iPhone would be useless for me like for every one who knows just a little about productivity
Eg. Just connect phone as a disc, transfer file via bluetooth....very often ;-)
Of course, for grand grand grand mother is iPhone the best....like an old Nokia 5110 :-)

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:41 3

8. HouTexan (Posts: 439; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)

I buy every app that I own on my Galaxy Note II, and like Jon, I know of no one who pirates their apps.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:41

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

I have purchased probably 90% of my apps. I don't like the ads that come with the 'free' apps. The only 'free' apps I have are those without a paid version (ex.: Weather Channel).

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:41

41. joey_sfb (Posts: 5760; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Same here, i buy apps and avoid ads support apps whenever possible.

ES Task Manager is my only ad supported app. Its really the best task manager for me and there no paid version.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:50 2

10. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)

i've bought all of my apps. Only apps that i downloaded and installed separately would be the dev offered apps from xda

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 14:59 5

11. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I've spent over $100 on apps in the Play Store. If I pirate an app, it's because I don't think the 15 minute refund window will be enough to decide on purchasing it.

You're working with an old assumption about Android users.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:16 1

14. Ninetysix (Posts: 2388; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Jan 5, 2013 article:


another one


posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:09 5

18. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

your article is a developer going on a rant. Him saying its "insane" does not mean that there is a problem. It carries no weight. Is there a problem? Yea sure, there's a piracy problem for ALL FORMS OF DIGITAL MEDIA WITH NO EXEPTIONS. Is it "insane on android"? No. Very very few users dip out to pirate apps. More than on iOS? Maybe, Android power users are quite a bit more tech savy than iOS users and they are the most likely culprits.

And if you notice by READING the article, within hours of the pirate putting up the fake app, it was removed. Case closed.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:35

39. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

"Yea sure, there's a piracy problem for ALL FORMS OF DIGITAL MEDIA WITH NO EXEPTIONS."

Exactly. Ppl act like piracy just started with Android or no one else has to worry about it.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:15 1

20. ama3654 (Posts: 295; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

Go and play with your puny little iphone, Play store will surpass and reign whether you like it or not, 99% of android users buy their apps thats what the trend is showing, you are talking as if IOS users dont pirate app smh....

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:48 2

24. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

What does the dev rant have to do with Android users being cheap?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:49 7

26. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Two stories from minor outlets with nothing but anecdotal evidence don't mean much. I'd take the numbers form App Annie, which tracks hundreds of thousands of apps over any anecdotal evidence.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:02 2

12. boosook (Posts: 1437; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

I've never pirated any app and regularly buy apps and books from the store. I don't buy music just because I prefer a different model, that's why I regularly pay for a sony music unlimited account so I can listen to anything I want.
Btw, I read some statistics that show that iOS piracy is high as well...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:11 2

13. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

I've bought a few apps, and pirated none. Bought Nova Launcher Prime along with Reddit Sync Pro, and made a few in app purchases on my games.

Quit with the generalizations.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:21

16. Lift_Off (Posts: 152; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)

"Quit with the generalizations" HAHAHAHA ohhhhh the irony...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:27

17. Ninetysix (Posts: 2388; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

I'm sorry but those 3rd world countries are paying for their android apps with their hard earned money. Why put food on the table when you can buy those awesome looking widgets?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:17 2

21. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4214; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Who said anything about third world countries?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:54 3

28. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

Why would you bring 3rd world countries into the argument. Do you think those that could afford smartphone that cost up to $500-$600 will be having a hard time putting food on their table?

Even so, if they're poor and have a smartphone, that doesn't classify them as being pirates. Plenty of people pay for subsidized iPhones in the US, you think everyone would be able to buy an iPhone absorbing the $600 dollar damage to the wallet? Come on, be real, even the iPhone users who has Cydia installed could be a pirate. Piracy is everywhere, there's cheap Android users and cheap iPhone users.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:04 1

30. HouTexan (Posts: 439; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)

Exactly. All of my friends that do have iphones/ipod touches, have ALL pirated from installous.

posted on 31 Jan 2013, 02:23 1

61. dmakun (Posts: 320; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)

Dude, shut your p#*hole! I live in Africa & I'm not even sure how much I've invested buying apps (games, launchers, add-ons, media players, comics, System & file managers, etc) from the play store especially since I could buy them with my bank debit card but I have no less than 45 PAID apps on my galaxy note. If I had to estimate I'd say no less than $250 worth of apps at the moment.
I've tried pirated apps when I wasn't able to purchase apps with my card on the playstore but the experience of using pirated apps meant I couldn't have current updates & thus no new features for my apps. So clearly it's not worth it. I also cannot stand seeing ads on my favorite apps so that too had to change as soon as I could purchase apps. Now I have installed a little over 100 apps with 45 paid apps & I'm more than happy to support developers who put in hard work to provide great apps with fantastic user experience.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:09 2

19. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4214; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

I've got around $80 of apps from the Play Store, and never pirated an app. It amazes me how people know everything by reading a couple articles on the internet. Btw, where's your boyfriend the French model? (In case you didn't get that it's from a State Farm commercial).

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:33 1

22. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

Sorry to burst your bubble... I purchased all my apps. I've pirated them, but if I like them, I delete them a buy them again from the Play store.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:35 3

23. tedkord (Posts: 11736; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Number of pirated apps on my GS3 = 0
I have about 20 paid apps.

You lose. Not surprising for loser.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:18 1

33. Aeires (unregistered)

Looks like someone hasn't been following the price of high end Android phones and how well they are selling world wide.

0 pirated and over $200 in Android apps. Yes, there are people who use Android and make good money.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:58 1

44. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Wow....you may have stepped in it for real this time...

Me? Spent $123.51. Pirated? None...

I bought some apps as donations. One app I cant even use anymore...it was exclusive to the Droid X1. I figure if I can spend $5-$7 for lunch at work... I wont even mention how much I spend going out for lunch or at happy hour....I can afford .99 for an app that will still serve me alot longer than lunch or dinner.

I have 2 apps that cost over $10......14.95 and 16.80. I bet you think thats unheard of in Android land...

I paid for 2 Android phones at retail price when they launched... I have a 3 line family plan....all Android phones....have 6 Android phones total....using 3 right now...you do the math.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 20:29

55. bigdawg23 (Posts: 450; Member since: 25 May 2011)

When I have had Android Devices like the Droid X, S2, G2 and GNote, I bought both sale apps but also many regular price. That being said 90% of my friends that own Android devices do not. One firmly believes since Android is Open Source apps should be free. He is also the king of piracy. He and I have battled over giving developers their do. Apps like Rom Manager and Titanium Backup I bought long ago and didn't flinch on the $5.90 cost. I have also bought apps for $19.99 like Docs to Go, Remote Desktop.

Piracy in the Android Apps is common on XDA despite Moderators trying to stop it.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 22:04

57. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Fair enough....

Ok Ninetysix.....90% of his friends that have Android phones pirate Android apps. Feel better?

This also reminds me of something....the folks that pirate movies, PC, console games, music, etc are probably the same folks. Or the majority of them are.

Like the majority of the general public dont know the first thing about root and ROMs....I got a feeling the majority dont know how to get or even find pirated content.

posted on 31 Jan 2013, 07:30

63. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Hey we should ask you this same question:



Funny they even exist in Apple land....I thought all Apple users could afford so much...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 15:17 1

15. Meleagru (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)

It should an interesting struggle, since I believe that, with a larger installer base, you could potentially earn more with a free app on Google Play from advertising than with a paid app in the App Store. Cheap has always prevailed in these kind of disputes before and I don't see that changing.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:02

45. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

You know how many times I hit the ads on the ad version of Angry Birds....lol. You might have a good point.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:48

25. JunitoNH (Posts: 1806; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

Yup, no one pirated apps, just like no one cheats on their taxes. In fact, is not pirating, because you can download Blackmart right from the play store; is not as if Google is encouraging the behavior. Imagine if you could download cydia from iTunes?

posted on 31 Jan 2013, 01:32

60. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

No.....the question that one guy asked is how many pirate all their apps. Most ppl that responded dont....some did tho.

Its not to the extreme. Some dont at all, some do. I am willing to bet most dont tho. Like the general public...most dont pirate movies, games and music. If that was the case...no one in the entertainment field would be making any money at all. No movie studios, no record labels, no app developers, no game makers.

That guy was making it out like every Android user pirates apps....oh yea...because they are cheap. And they know it.

And please dont tell me you think iOS doesnt have any pirated apps. Folks already named a few places that have pirated iOS apps. Blackberry just announced they have a Bittorrent and utorrent app. Are they encouraging it? Torrents can be used for legal things....but everybody likes to say most ppl use trrents for pirated content.

Btw..I just tried to find it on the Play store...and couldnt. If its hidden or you have to type it in a certain way....or if its removed.... When was the last time you seen it in the Play store? Maybe next time search for it before posting half truths?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:51 1

27. hepresearch (unregistered)

I hope that more people start developing for Android as a result of this coming shift. Now, will this make sense for all developers? I don't think so, but it would be nice.

It is fairly clear to me that development for iOS is made to be easier, but is more expensive as a result (Apple devs have to be licensed by Apple for a fee). Greater freedom always requires more work. The fact that the Play Store is now pulling in more money is encouraging, though, should they finally come to surpass iTunes' revenues.

I'm still not super enthralled with where Android has been heading lately... much less open in certain ways, and much more controlled and confined in some as well, but there isn't really a whole lot of choice for developers seeking to get big revenues in open-source for mobile right now. I'm hopeful that people will also explore other options, like Jolla's Sailfish OS, or FireFox OS...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:17

32. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Where have you been, posting after a very long time...?

Where is Apple Royally?

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:34 1

37. hepresearch (unregistered)

answer to 'second half' of #1: Yes.

answer to #2: I don't really care.

Good to see you, too, though...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:31

36. hepresearch (unregistered)

Regarding this side-story of pirated apps... I have a Nokia N75 with S60 3rd, a Nokia E75 with S60 3rd FP2, and a Nokia N800 Maemo tablet with an Easy Debian chroot... I have no pirated apps, though most of my apps were free anyway. That, and a couple of specialty goodies that I coded myself, but that's another story. Yes, everyone and their mother says Symbian is dead and impossible to find apps for, but at least I don't live in a world where I ever feel the need to 'pirate' anything.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 16:58

29. Ninetysix (Posts: 2388; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

That's awesome guys! This article is incorrect then. According to the comments here, nobody has pirated an app so with Android's HUGE 70% market share, the google play store revenue should surpass Apple's revenue ....today and not next year.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:07 3

31. HouTexan (Posts: 439; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)

Everyone here did not say they have never pirated apps. Some said they have, but not much. I have PLENTY of friends who use iphones/ipod touches that have pirated from installous. It isn't just "android users".

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:28 1

35. Aeires (unregistered)

Not everyone said they buy apps either, there's plenty of good free ones. My go to Notes app is free, use it every day at work.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:07

47. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Yea....out of all the apps I bought...I have many more free ones. I bought 42...I may have about 200 more free.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:04

46. jroc74 (Posts: 6006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

You know good n well a few posters on here dont represent everyone...

What happened is so far most that spoke up were the ones that dont pirate or pirate as much.

Just goes to show everyone doesnt pirate apps tho...like you claimed.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:33 1

48. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4214; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

So basically you have no way to think for yourself or come to a conclusion on your own? No one is saying piracy doesnt occur, but that doesnt mean its as widespread as tech blog articles make out either. They're in the business of bringing in internet traffic to their site. Many if not all sensationalize the facts to being in readers. Have you ever seen a headline that was a real eye catcher, then read the story and found it was not as extreme as what the headline made it out to be? That's sensationalist journalism, which accounts for a large amount of what we read or see today. Does everyone do it? No, but that doesnt mean it doesnt happen. You seem be under the notion that either everyone does it or no one does it. In real life it's not so black and white.

The thing is, and others have mentioned this, is that anything can be copied, stolen, and pirated. From recording songs of of the radio, illegal music downloads, pirated software, to someone using a food companies secret ingredient, it happens. But that doesnt mean that everyone does it, and it doesnt mean that it never happens. Of just means that some people do it and some don't. If you want to get technical anyone who gives others the info on how to jailbreak their iphone is pirating software. But just reading a few articles or asking a few commenters doesnt give you an accurate picture of what actually happens. Learn to get information, do a little deductive reasoning, and think for yourself.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:36 1

52. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I have pirated a couple of apps, but the numbers are pretty nice, considering that people like you believe that half of us pirate our apps...btw, I have purchased several apps over the last 3 years of owning android, but I am selective, and not a sap like many iProduct users are.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:26 2

34. Aeires (unregistered)

I've been using Android since the G1 and the quality of the apps and Play store has excelled tremendously. It'll take more time because in Apple's case, it's much easier to make an app for only 3 screen sizes compared to the dozens and dozens of Android screen sizes. From what I've heard, iOS is easier to code for so there's that aspect as well.

The bottom line is this, I haven't had any needs on my Android phones because there weren't enough apps to take care of what I needed to do. I don't find the quality an issue either, games look and play great and the productivity apps I have are easy to use and get the job done every time I've needed them.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:35

51. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I agree, although, it is pretty dumb that my kids get an update on their ipod before I do...but, I can be patient

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 17:38

40. kizanko (Posts: 9; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)

You know i'd love to buy apps but here in The Netherlands almost nobody uses creditcards and there are many countries with people who don;t use creditcards aswell heck even in US there are allot of people who don;t pay with their creditcard.

The good thing about the Appstore is that you can pay with your bankcard, something the Play store has still no option for. I don;t own a Apple device but i find it unfair that i can still not buyany paid apps in the Play Store because of this limitation.

Carrier billing is also taking ages to come here to all providers as goes for the Play store cards, i'd rather have a equivalent to Paypal or more payment options.

Please Google, if you want more apps to sell give more options rather than creditcards! :-(

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:34

50. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

there are options - bill to carrier and bill to debit/credit card bank card...where have you been?...well, ok, at least in America...

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 18:33 1

49. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I guess this is good, but I do not care..sorry, I buy a phone because I like and does what I want or need and not because its app store brings in the cash.

posted on 30 Jan 2013, 19:38 1

54. Fuego84 (Posts: 344; Member since: 13 May 2012)

I spent $350 playing rage of bahamut during the castle in the sky event on android. But I rarely find apps in the play store that Im interested in buying. This month I am hoping to buy neXt launcher $15.99 and easy tether pro for 9.99.

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