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, 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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63 Comments

1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

2. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2731; Member since: May 26, 2011

Just apps

38. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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?

43. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

53. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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...

56. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

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

3. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 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?

4. ghostnexus

Posts: 96; Member since: Mar 07, 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.

5. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 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.

42. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

6. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 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 :-)

8. HouTexan

Posts: 460; Member since: Jan 08, 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.

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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).

41. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

10. ph00ny

Posts: 1947; Member since: May 26, 2011

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

11. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2731; Member since: May 26, 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.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

39. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

20. ama3654

Posts: 295; Member since: Nov 27, 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....

24. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

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

26. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2731; Member since: May 26, 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.

12. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 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...

13. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

16. Lift_Off

Posts: 152; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

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

17. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 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?

21. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Who said anything about third world countries?

28. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 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.

30. HouTexan

Posts: 460; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

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

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