Apple's App Store generated 88 percent more revenue than Google Play in 2018

Apple's App Store generated 88 percent more revenue than Google Play in 2018
Despite a recent global decline in smartphone shipments that market researchers expect to get worse as vendors remain unable to entice faster upgrades, certain parts of the mobile industry are showing (almost) no signs of a slowdown whatsoever.

The number of smartphone and tablet gamers, for instance, is on the rise in North America, while according to fresh Sensor Tower estimates, mobile app spending around the world has jumped a healthy 22.7 percent year-on-year in 2018 to a combined App Store and Google Play total of $71.3 billion.

Unsurprisingly, Apple continues to run a significantly more profitable iOS digital distribution platform than its Google-managed Android counterpart, despite the latter’s pretty huge advantage in app downloads.

Apple's App Store generated 88 percent more revenue than Google Play in 2018

The $46.6 billion gross revenue generated by App Store titles last year is a whopping 88 percent higher than the $24.8 billion spent on Google Play, also representing a solid 20.4 percent growth from the App Store’s 2017 earnings tally.

Believe it or not, the number of first-time app installs from Google’s Play Store exceeded the App Store’s same metric by an astounding 160 percent, although a large chunk of those 75.7 billion Android installs obviously came from free-to-play titles.

Apple's App Store generated 88 percent more revenue than Google Play in 2018

Google can certainly be happy about the recent growth rate of its Play Store in both revenue and first-time app installs, managing to beat Apple with year-on-year improvements of 27.3 and 13 percent respectively, compared to 20.4 and 6.6 percent. 

But while that obviously resulted in overall growth for combined mobile app revenue and downloads, the market actually slowed its progress compared to gains reported between 2016 and 2017. 

Apple's App Store generated 88 percent more revenue than Google Play in 2018

It’s also interesting to point out that, even though mobile game revenue and downloads have surged in 2018, the gaming category accounted for a smaller piece of the overall spending pie than the previous year. We’re talking a still-impressive 77 percent share, but down from 82 percent as non-gaming apps are starting to be better monetized by both Google and Apple.

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17 Comments

1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I would like to see a chart where the free apps are deleted from the stats. Just to see paid apps and the differences then.

16. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

But free apps can also have in app purchases. So maybe have a category for separate IAP. That would be the best thing. Also most of that revenue is games. Less than 1/4 is made on other types of apps.

2. NateDiaz

Posts: 1082; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Only 88%? Apple is doomed.

3. NateDiaz

Posts: 1082; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Only 88%? Apple is doomed.

4. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Would like to see subscription revenue and also would like to see China stats where Google is standing their ground on doing business there.

7. worldpeace

Posts: 3099; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"China stats where Google is standing their ground on doing business there" I doubt they have app revenue from China. All chinese phones (for their own region) didn't even have playstore, not to mention that their government block all google services including playstore, google search, youtube, and many others (you'll need VPN to use those).

12. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Yes, that's my point. Apple on the other hand is raking in money from China because morally they don't have a problem in doing business with China.

5. Spacekid

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 17, 2019

I have been using android for 7 years and I haven't spent a penny on the play store. It's just that buying software seems weird to me.

6. AbhiD

Posts: 613; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

I was the same few years ago but after i got a job, started earning for myself, i realised how pathetic it is to steal money that someone else deserves for their work!

8. IT-Engineer

Posts: 523; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

If a software is good, i pay for it to support the developers and get a better experience. I paid to get an ad-free experience in Speedtest.net app.

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And does this mean you only use free software or do you pirate apps as well? Most users I know, don't spend a penny in either store, they just use whatever is on the phone and Facebook/WhatsApp. Myself, I spend hundreds of euros if you include IAPs. To each its own

10. maherk

Posts: 6715; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Why is it weird? And I hope you only use free apps and don't pirate them. For me, if I really like an app, even if the ads in their free version doesn't bother me, I make sure I buy the app in order to support the developer.

11. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

Market share: Playstore Profit share: App Store Android: Install free apps for the sake of ads and sexond rated app Apple: Install premium and optimize apps Playstore: devs don’t care App Store: devs should maintain suppport and continue to develop premium apps for premium phones

17. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

"Playstore: devs don’t care" Please stop talking about stuff you know nothing about (although in your case it means shutting the hell up entirely).

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1827; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

In my 2 years with the iOS ecosystem, I found there were a lot more pay apps compared to Android. Both platforms are plagued with the "In App Purchase" cancer, but just about everything in Android is a free app that you can pay to remove ads later, or boost progress faster.

14. Vancetastic

Posts: 845; Member since: May 17, 2017

Where is the “fruit company is dying” comment?

15. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Of course apple makes more in the app store. Most of their apps are overpriced. I dont have many extra apps on my phone but the ones i have i did pay for.

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