Android Market: Growth Soars, Revenues Snore

It isn't surprising when we see numbers showing exponential growth for the Android Market and all the content associated with it.  After all, with over 250,000 apps in almost no time, superlatives are what we're used to.  So the announcement that Market revenues are up an eye-popping 862% are all of the teacher-assigns-homework variety story; ho-hum, yeah, it happened.  2009 revenue for the Android Market was a scant $11 million, while 2010 shot up to $102 million per industry analyst Screen Digest (now owned by IHS).

But let's put those revenues in perspective.  We'd expect Apple's App Store to blow Android's little green robots away for revenue, but look at where else the money shots put Andy to shame:

These are rather difficult to read, and the data is only available via subscription anyway, so I'll just call out the important numbers.  Apple's app store had revenue of $1.7 billion last year.  Yes, billion, with a b, or a thousand million for you Brits.  Their share of the app market dropped from 93% in 2009 to 83% in 2010, and not only because of Android's incursion on their turf.  Sure Apple's still growing, but with big revenues come slower growth rates, and they still managed to more than double their 2009 numbers.

But the second biggest revenues weren't Android Market's either.  Or the third-biggest!  Second was BlackBerry App World, with $165 million in revenues, which is an 8% share of the global application store rankings.  They grew 360% year over year from 2009.  Third place was (remember them?) Nokia's Ovi Store, which had remarkably similar numbers to Android Market's in both 2009 and 2010.  They sold $105 million worth of apps and garnered a 4.9% share, which over 700% growth from 2009.

And finally, in fourth place -- of four -- is the Android Market.  I don't know, I'm feeling a little less like cheerleading when I see a chart like this.  Sure we got 250,000 apps, but how many of them are people willing to pay actual money for them?  Do Android users prefer handing over their privacy and private information to ad-servers instead?  Or another way to ask this is, should they have counted ad revenue and if so, how would they count it?

The total revenue for all worldwide mobile application stores was $2.2 billion dollars, which is up 160% over 2009.  We should expect that number to continue climbing, and for Android's share of it to increase.  Somehow, Nokia doesn't seem quite the threat, even if Windows Phone 7 doesn't even have any numbers on the chart... yet.  BlackBerry's share isn't climbing as fast either, but we've heard plenty of talk that corporate users want to use Apple or Android and that their system admins are listening.

So while we'd expect to see the Android Market with a lot more than 5% of the total mobile application store share for 2011, I wonder how much more that's going to be.  Ideas?  Please share them in comments.

Source: After Dawn News, Know Your Mobile

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