App downloads are still on an exponential curve.

Google announced in June of 2012 that it had over 600,000 apps in Google Play (formerly Android Market) with over 20 billion downloads rising at 1.5 billion installs a month.

In January of 2013, the AppStore hit the 40 billion mark. With over half of that occurring in 2012 alone. 2 billion downloads occurred in December of 2012. At that moment, there were over 500 million active accounts having access to over 775,000 apps.

Not part of the above totals: many apps also get re-downloaded and updated.

Where’s the money? In November 2012, the AppStore was pulling in $15 million on average daily and Google Play was about $3.5 million. This is mainly due to Apple’s in-app purchases.

Setting apps aside, Android has the largest portion of the smartphone market and continues to do so. In the third quarter of 2012, there were over 136 million Android based phones shipped (mostly Samsung) which is 75% of the market while iOS phones shipped 27 million maintaining only 15%. (BlackBerry struggling at 4%).

Where do you feel it is headed?

26 Comments
  1. I’m suprised Android is the iPhone when it comes to app downloads, especially considering the 75% market share Android hold. Whenever I pick up one of my friends’ iPhones I only see a few non-stock apps, however when I pick up my own phone or the phone of one of my friends with Android you can see pages and pages of downloaded apps. I guess my friends don’t represent the big picture here!

  2. Android has been selling high end phones in collaboration with other companies i.e. Nexus 4, nexus 10, etc. In cheap prices and people say they are making no profit from selling and thought to be gaining back through app purchase through google play. More phones=more apps downloaded. But, 15 million vs 3.5 million is quite surprising seeing their download averages. Does this mean Android is offering more apps for free than iPhone?

    • As both users of android and iPhone, that would be very true. There are a LOT more free apps in android than in iPhone, also, a Lot more developers with almost same idea for the app, but with few little tweaks of their own, meaning much more apps!

      Anyway, according to the article, this would be because of the In-app purchase option of the AppStore, which has been adopted also by Google lately, so I think by 2014, the numbers would be changing.

  3. I will beg for fanboys forgiveness but saying “iOS vs Android? AppStore vs Google Play?” its just like saying:
    Beautiful Design and high expenses VS. Common sense and functionality.

  4. Androids have free apps, that’s the best part! The downside is that most apps are added to iPhone app store before they make it to Google play, so we end up being behind.

  5. Obviously android would have a higher market share with regard to product sales. Android is available for much more devices than Apple makes, People go crazy of small functionalities that android provides. Those functions seem quite silly actually. Android applications dont have the same feel that apple applications have. That is why there are more downloads for Apple. Also since the android market offers more free apps than apple ofcourse there are going to be a huge number of free downloads increasing the statistics.

    • Thank you for posting this. I don’t understand how most people don’t get this.

      It’s just not fair to compare both of them in these senses. Sure there might be more android devices selling, but one must also remember that android can be on even the most weak phones out there. The real question should be who is making more money?

  6. I’ve never tried Android but I’m very happy with ios. I think it has more options, and it’s more integrated with the rest of the Apple product line.

  7. It’s interesting to hear the Android phones are dominating the current marketplace. While iOS has more apps than Android, as pointed out, there are more free Android apps than iPhone apps. Soon, Androids app marketshare will surpass iOS.

  8. I’m not surprised that Android are overtaking iOS – in my opinion, Google Play offers a much better range of apps and more of them are free, compared to those available on AppStore. I feel Android devices are much more customisable as well, and there are more options available when purchasing your first Android, whereas on iOS, you’re limited purely to Apple devices, which might not appeal to everyone. I’m an Android user and can’t imagine changing!

  9. There are a lot more free apps on Google Play on the AppStore.
    What I like about Android is that you can find the application form APk file easily. On iOS, you must to be able to Jailbreak it.

    Google allows developers to publish their applications themselves. It is easier for them! The applications are many, but be careful not to download anything.

  10. I haven’t looked at the AppStore much however I do remember that the apps I would’ve liked to install were mostly paid. It does look like Google Play provides more choices, especially free ones which can factor on its sales. Another thing that could factor in on the app market sales is the price cap on AppStore is at $999 while Google Play has it at $200. I think Google Play might catch up though in a year or two as its app market matures more.

  11. I think both store are becoming more and more alike; Most apps are released for iPhone and Android simultaneously nowadays and even if this isn’t the case, it normally never takes long before it hits the other platform.

    I might be wrong, but I think the difference in revenue isn’t only the in-app purchases, but also the fact that iPhone-owners are more likely to pay for an app than Android-owners because often there are multiple free alternatives for Android or other App stores whereas the Apple AppStore is the only legitimate source of Apps for iPhone users

    • AppStore having a higher price cap, coupled with more customers that are willing to pay, give Apple its current edge over Google Play. I don’t remember much about the AppStore but Google Play has so many redundant and low quality apps that it can be a turn off to buy from it sometimes. I heard it’s easier to submit an app on Google Play and I guess somewhere along the line, quality suffers.

  12. Having both owned Android and iOS devices I have to stay the app store is much better than Google Play. The appstore being released first is probably why the downloads are so high,Android is now more popular I believe.

    • I recently used Google play for the first time and I agree with you completely. The UX was much more enjoyable on the apple app store.

  13. It’s amazing at the speed at which these markets are growing. When Apple announced App Store back in 2008 no one could have thought it would become synonymous with all the words apps itself for the future to come.

    Now, everywhere we look, there’s an app for everything! Truly amazing.

  14. I saw an article in The Guardian recently that notes this very phenomena of Apple still dominating in the app race. They take a look at it from the app developers’ perspective and make note of the advantages developers have when developing apps for Apple vs. Android. I found it quite illuminating. Concerns of developers center around profits — they’re getting more from Apple — and concerns about piracy with Android.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/appsblog/2013/aug/15/android-v-ios-apps-apple-google

    • On the surface, the App Store and Google Play looks similar but wow. The difference. I guess if Android’s going to improve more, it will still take much longer to overcome Apple just because it looks like the latter has a better design that caters to the developers more than Android does for theirs.

  15. I see more and more people move towards the Android platform because it is an open source, which mobile users can install a lot of Android third-party software. The Android market is also expanding because there are numerous application that support Android. The Android phone market is getting larger because there are a huge choice for Android phones.

  16. These two entities are at the top of their game on smartphone devices, but the leading operating system is Android and it is that way for a reason. Android allows for better customization and performance on a variety of smartphones and not just one. You can arrange items on your phone just the way you want it and the browsing experience is nothing short of smooth and spectacular on a screen larger than the tiny one Apple provides its consumers. Also Android has the better free and paid apps to choose from. I do credit Apple for putting out a more simplified product for less experienced phone users and for launching the evolution of more advanced smartphones and technology in general, but my pick here goes to Android, with all due respect to Steve Jobs and all of his contributions.

  17. I think that the App Store has always been more popular than Google Play. There are so many apps in the Google Play store that are not supportive for most Android phones which makes it less popular. With the App Store, all of their apps are compatible with all of their phone and tablets and that is what people likes.

  18. I’ve used android phones and I find them very frustrating. Learning the ropes on their software takes much more time than the iOS. It will be a long time before anyone catches up to Apple’s app store progress.

  19. I feel that the only reason the Play Store’s numbers aren’t as good as Apple’s App Store numbers, is because piracy is easier on Android than iOS, and Android also allows alternate app markets. Play Store probably won’t catch up with the App Store, but as an operating system, Android is superior because you have the customizability of a proper operating system and the wide array of support for devices, whereas iOS doesn’t support many devices and is essentially closed off.

  20. What? How could that even be possible. I don’t know how Google Play does it, when not everyone uses Android gadget. With Nokia launching an Android tablet, the market will look more optimistic, because many other smartphones usually follow what Nokia is doing. This means more downloads, and more money.

  21. Android has a more of a ‘free’ or ‘cheaper’ feeling about it, so I’m not surprised at the summary of turn over.
    I love Android and happy that it feels app developments for it feel more serious than an after thought.

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