Apple App Store vs Google Play Store: Who is Winning?

4 min read

The never-ending battle between the two app store giants is continuing as always. Both Apple App Store vs Google Play Store have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In our latest blog post, we will explore the latest positioning of Apple App Store vs Google Play Store. By comparing them in various metrics, we will decide who is ahead of the competition as of 2018.

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Apple App Store vs Google Play Store: The Numbers

We will start exploring the competition between Apple App Store vs Google Play Store with some numerical data.

Revenue 

As of the first half of 2018, Apple App Store steadily outpaced Google Play Store in terms of revenue generated. Results suggest that Apple App Store generated almost double the revenue of Google Play Store on half the downloads.

In terms of dollars and cents, that’s $22.6 billion in worldwide gross app revenue on the App Store versus $11.8 billion for Google Play or, 1.9 times more spent on the App Store compared with what was spent on Google Play.

apple app store vs google play store first graphIt is impressive that Apple App Store is able to reign supreme over GooglePlay Store when Android has a much larger global install base. Stil, it is important to note that Google Play is not yet available in China, a promising target market with a huge population, whereas the App Store is.

It is also worth noting that recently Apple Hit $1 Trillion, Market Cap. The success of Apple App Store obviously plays a key role in Apple’s historical success. To learn more about Apple’s milestone, you can check this article. 

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Growth

As of 2018, Google Play did manage to slightly edge out Apple, growing 29.7 percent versus Apple’s 26.8 percent.

For both app stores, gaming has shown an impressive growth of 30 percent year-over-year during 2017, representing 82 percent of all app revenue. In 018, games grew 19.1 percent in the first half of this year, pulling in around $26.6 billion worldwide across both stores, representing about 78 percent of total app expenditure.

apple app store vs google play store second graphApp Numbers

According to Statista.com number of apps available for download in leading app stores as of March 2017 shows that Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps.

Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2.2 million available apps. In late 2016, Apple announced that 140 billion apps had been downloaded from its App Store.

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Apple App Store vs Google Play Store: Advantages

As you are now able to see the big picture with the numerical data, we will now focus on some advantages these two app store giants have.

Apple App Store

Visibility

On the way to generating revenue via an app, visibility is the key to an app’s success. Apple App Store is beneficial to developers as it gives them a lot more visibility than any other app marketplace. The app, once it is approved by the App Store, stands a good chance of being promoted via multiple channels on the store, such as being featured on the Popular App category, App of the Week category and so on.

Revenue

While the initial registration fee is reasonable, the returns are also high, as the developer gets 70 percent of the sales of the app. This makes it easier for the app developer to make a profit from the sales of their app. The returns would become substantially higher if the app receives high conversion rates.

App Review

The approval process of an app in Apple App Store can be a long & challenging prıcess. Still, it can also be considered as an advantage as the app review team gives the developer a clear idea as to why his or her app has been subjected to rejection. It can appear as annoying for developers but it is beneficial for them as it helps them to enhance their skills of mobile app development.

These results show that Apple App Store is clearly a desirable place to be for an app developer. When you manage to get accepted by the Apple’s review process, the sky is the limit for you with your app. Still, keep in mind that remaining visible can be challenging in a competitive marketplace like this. App Store Optimization (ASO) will be your best friend in this journey to maximize your app’s success.

Google Play Store

Developer Friendly

Especially compared with the Apple App Store and its regulations, it is fair to say that Google Play Store is way more developer friendly. It is clearly a plus for both app developers and users roaming in the Google Play Store. As a result, you are more likely to find a wide variety of interesting and creative Android apps, as well as a vibrant development community.

More App Information 

In Google Play Store, a roaming user can be exposed to many details about an app even before tapping to enter the app profile. This is clearly an advantage for both sides, the developers, and the users. In the Google Play Store, information is provided in just one column with videos and screenshots.

Google Play Store also takes into account several social factors such as app’s cumulative ratings, recommendations from friends or comments by user’s with same device or most recent version of the app. In effect, choosing Android apps is a more social experience. With this interactive interface, conversion rates are likely to increase with a higher retention.

Emerging Markets

While developers in U.S. and Europe prefer iOS, Android is becoming highly active in the emerging markets such as India and Mexico. In emerging markets they are more likely to build for Android first. This means developers will look at different ways of making money in the future.

Android handsets tend to be more cost-effective compared to highly expensive iOS devices. This has resulted in growing Android install base in emerging markets. As a result, Android is narrowing the app revenue gap with iOS. The rapidly growing demand for Android devices would mean that more activity in Google Play Store in the near future.

Google Play Store obviously have advantages on its hand. It is clearly a more enjoyable playground for the app developers. Still, this freedom can lead to complexity while developing or searching for an app. The limited potential revenue you can get as an app developer is another consideration you should focus on.

The Verdict

Both the Apple App Store vs Google Play Store have their own advantages and disadvantages. App developers first need to analyze each one and understand what exactly they want out of their app before they go ahead to develop apps for these two app stores.

For app users, it is also a subjective decision. Most of the apps are available in both app stores. Still, they can make a decision based on their own interests when they go to the extremes of each store.

Before making our decision about who is winning the battle as of 2018, it is also worth mentioning the changing landscape. On a wider perspective, the battle is clearly expanding by shifting to wearables. With the release of Apple Watch and Android Wear devices such as Samsung Gear, the battle of app stores is clearly shifting to a new level.

In overall, we can say that it is worth praising Google Play  Store’s growth. Still, thanks to their enormous brand value and loyal fanbase, Apple is still taking steady steps to remain to have the leading app store as of 2018. With the developments in the ecosystem, only time can tell the winner of the next chapter.

Hope you liked our blog post about an overall comparison of Apple App Store vs Google Play Store. Don’t forget to share this post with fellow developers.

Cheers!

Mobile Action Team

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