Google Play passes Apple’s App Store in total downloads

For the first time, Google Play surpassed Apple’s App Store in total number of downloads last quarter, a new report says. But don’t cry for Apple — their apps generated almost two and a half times as much revenue.

Google app downloads exceeded iOS by 10 percent in the second quarter, according to the report by analytics company App Annie. That Google took over the No. 1 spot is no great surprise — the global popularity of Android smartphones made that inevitable. But few expected it to happen so soon. The report found Google received a huge boost last quarter from emerging markets, with downloads soaring in China, Russia, India and Brazil.

“Android’s open platform has given Google Play a very strong position in these markets because cell phone manufacturers like Samsung, Nokia, HTC and LG are offering cheaper handsets and already have established distribution channels to market and sell their products,” the report said.

Games continue to be the driving force, accounting for about 40 percent of downloads on both Android and iOS. Games are also the top money-maker, accounting for more than 80 percent of Android app revenue and about 75 percent of iOS app revenue.

Apple is bolstered, however, by the fact that its users historically have been more willing to pay for apps. Take Two Interactive, for example, has recently found success with a $19.99 iOS version of its hit PC game “XCom: Enemy Unknown.” The price “illustrates that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium entertainment,” Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said recently.

Still, Apple’s revenue cushion may not last. Forbes notes that while iOS revenue was 130 percent greater than Android’s, that figure was 400 percent two years ago. And Google’s gains are not just symbolic. “Apple may value its hardware margins highly, but app market leadership is exceptionally important in attracting the best app developer talent and thus ensuring long term success of the entire OS ecosystem,” Forbes’ Tero Kuittinen wrote.


Google image.


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