Now here's some good news. According to Distimo, which reports on mobile app spending patterns, globally Google Play is still chipping away at the huge lead Apple has with their built in mobile app revenue generation. As of April 2013, Google Play vs iOS, the revenue balance was 27% vs 73%. In 2012, during the same month it was 19% vs 81%. So there's still quite a ways to go to get the revenue even for both competing stores, but Google should get there pretty quickly. Most likely, within a couple of years.
In certain major markets, Google has already caught up with Apple. Some of the more fascinating figures concern one of our favorite texting replacement apps, WhatsApp. Here in the US, WhatsApp racked up $355,000 from Apple's App Store in April, and about $41,000 from Google Play. The size of that gap is pretty large. But it's stunning that WhatsApp is grossing by about half a million per month in the biggest app market in the world. This is about 2% of what certain leading game app vendors are grossing in America on a monthly basis.
The real jaw dropper here is that in some European markets, WhatsApp made $290,000 in Germany from Google Play, and just $207,000 from the App Store. Looks like Germany has quite a few Android fans out there. Who knew that Germany would generate as much revenue as the United States? In Spain, WhatsApp generates nearly 90% of their revenue from Google Play, which is pretty surprising.
So what does all this mean to us, as Android users? Well, this means that app and game developers may want to make Android a priority. Normally iOS gets apps first because they generate more revenue for developers. But these numbers are starting to show that developers may need to develop for Android and release apps for both platforms at the same time.