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

Google Play app revenue could surpass iTunes App Store by the end of 2013
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.

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.

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. 

source: App Annie January Index via Venture Beat

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