Smartphones and the apps that we install on them have become an important part of every day life. While Apple still remains ahead of the pack in App store revenue as they always have, Google and its Play Store have come out ahead in app downloads again in Q1, and is succeeding in closing the gap in revenue made from app downloads. According to the App Annie Market index, Google Play now holds a 45% lead over Apple and the App Store in overall app downloads, with emerging markets and places like Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey seeing huge gains for Google Play as the leading regions where app downloads had the most impact on this result.
Unfortunately for Google and the Play Store, Apple still holds a sizeable lead in terms of how much money they make from those apps that are downloaded, with a huge 85% lead over the Play Store's revenue. Since Apple recently broke into the Chinese market with their iPhone, it's likely this had a huge impact on the overall revenue that they had for Q1 in terms of apps, although not the only contributing factor. Interestingly enough, the category where both app stores saw the most growth was games, so people are actually downloading more games on Google Play and on the App Store than traditional apps. The biggest portion of growth for apps outside of the games category? Anti-Virus and security apps for Google Play, while iOS saw an increase from finance oriented apps.
The growth for Google compared to the previous quarter was 10%, as Q4 of 2013 ended with them only having a 35% lead over Apple in the total downloads. While games were the biggest factor in either stores growth numbers for downloads and revenue, other app categories like news and social media/communication had a substantial impact as well. Apple may still be far ahead of Google at this point when it comes down to how much money they make from apps, but Google has been steadily gaining in this area on a consistent basis and we all know that slow and steady wins the race in the end. Given some more time, Google has every opportunity to surpass Apple in actual app revenue in addition to the already higher number of downloads.