Google Play topped the Apple App store in the number of Q4 downloads

Google Play topped the Apple App store in the number of Q4 downloads
Thanks to Android users in markets like India, Indonesia, and Brazil, the Google Play Store set a record with more than 19 billion apps downloaded globally during the fourth quarter of 2017. This figure includes only new installations; re-installs and app updates do not count. The data, compiled by App Annie, shows that downloads from the Google Play Store out numbered downloads from the App Store by 145% during the three months from October through December. Games, Finance and Personalization were the categories with the biggest growth on the Google Play Store year-over-year. Shopping and Finance apps lead the way in the app store.

While Google Play users downloaded a record number of apps, App Store users outspent their Android counterparts by 95% in Q4 2017. The latter shelled out $11.5 billion for paid apps during the last three months of the year. The U.S. saw the largest growth in spending on apps, compared with the same period during 2016. Chinese and Japanese smartphone users had the most apps installed on their phones, with handset owners in both countries averaging over 100 on each handset. However, India led in the number of apps actually used by an average smartphone owner with an average in the low 40's.

The Chinese love using apps, according to the report. During the fourth quarter of 2017, Android users in the country spent over 200 billion hours using apps on Android flavored phones. To put that in perspective, India was second with a total just shy of 50 billion hours of Android app usage.

Between the App Store and Google Play Store, a record 27 million apps were installed during the fourth quarter of 2017. This represents a year-over-year gain of 7%. For all of 2017, the top grossing app in the U.S. was music streamer Pandora followed by Netflix, HBO Now, Tinder and YouTube. The top five revenue producing games were Candy Crush Saga, Clash Royale, Game of War-Fire Age, Clash of Clans and Mobile Strike.

source: AppAnnie



1. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Wow. Dang China, that's alot of hours on a phone.

2. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Even when you factor in China's population that amount of time is still crazy!

4. kylebelle

Posts: 74; Member since: May 03, 2016

India's population isn't much smaller but still China has 4 times more hours of usage. But this could possibly be explained if it was vpn usage.

3. southernzombie

Posts: 357; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Its an interesting set of statistics, but considering that google play has around 3.5 million available apps vs the app store just over 2 million it stands to reason that the play store would have more total downloads, and on the flip side of that tho I can't find any hard number evidence for this part but it seems apple has more paid apps vs free apps than the play store so again it would stand to reason that apple would have more app revenue.

5. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

You could be right. I would say however that Android having over 85% worldwide market share would be number one reason that the play store sees the most app downloads...

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7419; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Sure the majority of smartphone users are Android. Nobody can hide that fact. However Android also has other app stores as well. But putting all that aside. If you noticed all the top grossing games are all free, with in app purchases. Plus with Android there is a lot more free apps as well as apps you just cannot get on the app store. For instance there is a lot of VR apps that are Cardboard, Daydream, and Samsung's Gear VR. You can even use Steam VR apps now with Daydream and Gear VR. Plus you have a lot more emulators, utilities, tools that you just cannot get or they are not even offered on Apple's app store.

8. southernzombie

Posts: 357; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

agreed, adds to my point that this shouldn't be surprising to anyone.

7. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I wonder how much money is spend in China on Android apps since the Google Play Store isn't the one they use

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.