Sensor Tower has released its estimates for global smartphone app revenue for the first half of the year, which show that while the Google Play store did make some strides, Apple's App Store still earns the most revenue.
Per the estimates, Android and iOS users spent $39.7 billion on apps in the first half of 2019, a 15.4 percent increase over last year. Breaking down the result further, the report claims that the App Store generated revenue of $25.5 billion during the first half, up 13.2 percent from H1 2018. Google Play, on the other hand, pulled in 80 percent less revenue at 14.2 billion during the same time period. However, on a year-over-year (YoY) basis, this is an increment of 19.6 percent for Google.
Out of the estimated 56.7 billion first-time app installs, the App Store made up 14.8 billion, a YoY decrease of 1.4 percent. Sensor Tower notes that this is the first time that iOS downloads have slumped and believes that the reason behind this is the downturn in China.
Despite garnering 2.8 times more first-time downloads than the App Store, Google Play's projected earnings were 1.8 times less than that of Apple's store.
As far as the top non-gaming apps are concerned, Tinder, Netflix, Tencent Video, iQIYI, and YouTube, came out at the top across both stores in terms of revenue.
Facebook's three apps, WhatsApp, Messenger, and the main app continued to be downloaded the most during the first half of 2019. TikTok and Instagram remained the fourth and fifth most popular apps.
Android and iOS users reportedly spent a combined $29.6 billion on mobile games, which is an 11.3 percent YoY increase. Apple's fortunes apparently suffered again because of lower consumer spending in China, as a result of which its revenue only grew 7.8 percent to $17.6 billion YoY, as opposed to Google Play, which witnessed its earnings go up by more than 16.8 percent to $12 billion.
Tencent's Honor of Kings is believed to have earned $728 million during H1, while Sony Aniplex's Fate/Grand Order apparently raked in $628 million. The third spot was clinched by Mixi's Monster Strike, with estimated revenue of $566 million during the first half of the year. King's Candy Crush Saga and Tencent's PUBG Mobile were the fourth and fifth highest grossers respectively.
20.1 billion new games were downloaded during the first half of the year, an increase of 3.2 percent from the same period last year. Apple's platform saw 1.4 percent fewer downloads, thanks to China again, while Google saw YoY growth of 4.6 percent. In all, 4.4 billion games were downloaded by iOS users in H1 2019, and Android owners installed 15.7 billion mobile games during the same period. Color Bump 3D, Garena Free Fire, and PUBG mobile were the most popular games across both the operating systems.
As is apparent from the research report, it seems Google is slowly establishing its foothold in the apps market and Apple's growth seems to have flattened a bit. However, iOS users seem more open to the idea of spending on apps than Android users but the latest estimates sure look good for Google and imply that the search giant has started to catch up.