Apple may have had a phenomenally, record-breakingly successful year in 2014, but Android still remains the dominant operating system (OS) on smartphones worldwide. New figures published by analytics company App Annie say that app installation on Google’s Androids is increasing at a faster rate than those on Apple’s iOS platform. However, as re/code notes, this hasn’t translated into greater revenues for Android — yet.
Throughout 2014, Google Play saw 60% more downloads than the Apple App Store, with downloads at the former increasing faster. It’s best illustrated below:
Despite this, however, iOS saw far more revenues from paid downloads and in-app purchases — 70% more, in fact.
It’s a reinforcement of the classic wisdom that the iPhone is the phone for rich people. Android may get the mass market share, by iOS users will earn more, spend more on apps and in-app purchases, and advertising rates on the platform will be higher.
This may not be the case forever, however. Other figures recently published by gaming marketing company DAU-UP suggests that Android users are spending more than ever before, and when combined with the lower associated costs of Google’s platforms, some Android games are becoming as profitable (or even more profitable) than their iOS equivalents.
The data is limited — it only refers to mobile games, for one. And as Apple continues to destroy Samsung and mop up the luxury smartphone market, the combined purchasing power of Android users may drop relative to iOS.
But as The Guardian points out, the Google Play store isn’t the only avenue for acquiring apps on Android. There are also offerings from Samsung, Apple, and dozens of others in emerging markets like China. By focusing on the Google Play store, you fail to get a complete picture of the market and revenue opportunities open to Android developers.
DAU-UP days they have already seen some developers make the shift to “Android-first” development models, and as Android users continue to consumer ever-more apps at ever-faster rates, more may soon follow.