App Stores: Android vs Windows Phone vs iOS

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Top 3 app stores

We are doing a comparison of the app stores of the top three smartphone platforms globally, namely: Android, Windows Phone, and iOS. In this comparison, we are looking at number of apps in each store and the revenue from them. Our source is a BlogMost infographic of 2013 stats from the various mobile app stores.

Number of Apps

Android: 850,000
Windows Phone: 220,000
iOS: 905,000

Revenue from Apps

Android: $1.2b
Windows Phone: $950m
iOS: $6.4b

Average Revenue per App

Android: $1,411.76 per app
Windows Phone: $4,318.18 per app
iOS: $7,071.82 per app

Conclusions

1. iOS has the largest collection of apps, but Android is right behind with only 50,000 less apps. In my opinion, iOS has lost the edge in terms of availability of apps. Android has already cemented itself in terms of smartphones marketshare and this tiny gap simply means that Android has won the numbers game. The Windows Phone store has some serious catching up to do.

2. Despite the huge gap in number of apps in Google Play and Windows Phone Store, revenue from app purchases in the latter almost matches that of the former. It is either most Android users prefer free apps to paid, or Android OS developers churn out more free apps than paid. Whatever it is, Android may have the numbers in terms of marketshare, but it is the least profitable platform to develop for if you are looking to sell your app/s. iOS is by a huge margin the most profitable platform in terms of sales.

Here is a cropped version of the infographic showing the stats used in the above comparison:
smartphone os infographic feb 2014

As you can see, BlackBerry features in the infographics, but our focus is the top three stores, and so we left it out. The full infographic can be seen here.

  1. Interesting statustix.

    It doesn’t surprise me so much to see that Developers don’t make much money on Android, comparatively. .

    While iOS may ha e more apps in its store, it is very likely that there are far more apps outside t the Official Play Store, than in it.

    Even big league apps like Swype were outside the Official Store for ages. I would think the comparative ease of sideloading on Android also fortifies that.

    While iOS may have more apps in their store, the competition is more ferocious on android in the sense of having numerous apps in the same app category. For instance, in the file manager, office management, keyboard app categories , you literally have several apps jostling and competing against each other. Thus, making money would be harder.

    All found, I hope Windowsphone gain more traction in terms of adoption, so that the current duopoly in the mobile space can be broken, to the benefit of consumers.

  2. i actually think for smartphones, there are more apps on Google Play than Apple Store, roughly 30% of apps on Apple Store are tablet apps for the IPad range. as per revenue, Apple’s business model helps here, dunno how they manage to do it but after they get you to shell out over $600 for a phone ($200 or less on contract Stateside) they manage to get you to spend more on apps. the average iPhone user will spend over $200 on apps over 2 years. as for Android, well tech inclined people always find it hard to pay for stuff when there’s an opportunity to get it for free. and a lotta Android users are tech savvy enough to get premium apps for free. as for Windows Phone, they’re limited by numbers, simply put there are not enough Windows Phone devices out there to push up app sales

  3. I should think android has more free apps but then there are still the challenges of downloading outside the official store and the issue of being able to copy .apk files using apps like flashshare and sender. For instance, I’ve been able to copy preloaded quickoffice to another phone whereas for that particular phone I was supposed to purchase the premium version.

  4. Having played across the platforms, the quality of an app can vary significantly. So while I can’t get fixated on which platform has the most apps, I can appreciate the fact that you get what you pay for.

    And the myth that Apple users will pay more for apps versus Android users is just that – a myth. I’m not even sure where or who it’s based on (probably the US, which is supposed the reflect on the spending habits of the rest of the world), I know many Apple users who’ve never paid a cent for a single app, similar to their Android counterparts. I suspect that a few people pay a lot and many pay little.

    Having said that, when you’re paying 99c for an app, it isn’t seen as a big deal. You can easily spend £200 in two years and not blink an eye, but I doubt most people in the developing world would spend that 99c without counting the cost. Which is why Android, it’s open system and being able to pirate from the wild is so appealing to many. However I suspect the average Android user doesn’t bother much with that.

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