Android will finally exceed iOS in terms of app revenue this year, according to a forecast made by mobile market analytics firm App Annie. Based on App Annie's report, Android app stores will earn over $41 billion this year compared to iOS App Store which will earn around $40 billion. It is important to point out that App Annie combined Google Play revenue with the revenue from third-party app stores of smartphone manufacturers and software vendors to calculate total Android app revenue for its forecast. The Google Play Store alone will likely earn around $21 billion based on App Annie's prediction, significantly lower than the first-placed iOS App Store. Meanwhile, third-party app stores like those from Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Baidu will likely earn a combined $20 billion.
Consumers traditionally spend more money on the iOS App Store than what they do on Android apps. Industry watchers believe that consumers spend less on Android due to the fact the platform is more open to piracy compared to iOS. Regardless, Android app stores recently started gaining more ground in terms of app revenue due to the sheer number of Android devices being sold. Even if Android smartphone owners spend less on apps, the large number of Android users is now enough to compensate for the lower revenue per user.
Still, according to App Annie's report, the top five countries based on app downloads are the United States, China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia with 54 percent of total downloads last year. This list will likely stay the same until 2021, and the same goes for the list of top five highest app spenders that includes the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, and the UK who account for 75 percent of all app revenue. There is still room for app revenue to grow, as India still has a developing app market with massive potential, the report states. App Annie forecasts continued growth in the Indian market in terms of app downloads and revenue. China, on the other hand, has a slowly maturing market with consumers already developing smartphone use habits and smartphone markets in urbanized areas now saturated. Meanwhile, Japanese, South Korean and American consumers spend more money on applications compared to previous periods despite their already saturated markets.