Play Store will overtake App Store in number of app installs by October

by: Robert TriggsJune 6, 2013

Google-IO-2013 Google Play logo 91600 aa

According to a recent report regarding app market purchases, our beloved Android is set to become the most popular app platform in the world within the next few months.

The data shows that Apple is just ahead in terms of the total number of apps ever downloaded, having just surpassed the impressive 50 billion mark. But Android is not far behind, currently sitting at around 48 billion app downloads from the Play Store. Including apps from Amazon’s Appstore, and other less reputable sources, Android app downloads have already no doubt surpassed Apple’s, but these statistics weren’t at hand to compare.

Despite Apple having a small official margin over Google, it appears that Play Store installs are increasing at a faster rate. Approximately 2 billion iOS apps are downloaded each month, whereas the Play Store brings in around 2.5 billion apps per month. If this trend continues, the Play Store is expected to overtake Apple’s App Store by October.

However, this statistic doesn’t mean that Android users are necessarily consuming more apps than their Apple counterparts, quite the opposite in fact. On average, Apple users tend to install around 83 different apps per device, whereas Android users install significantly less, averaging only 53 apps per device.

The key point here is that there are around 600 million Apple products currently on the market, while there are 50% more (900 million) Android devices in use. In other words, Android is catching up to Apple in terms on the number of total app installs, but only because it makes up a larger share of the total market size. Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco, sums it up quite nicely:

[quote qtext=”The sheer weight of Android units will generate more downloads but on a per device basis the iOS devices do seem to consume more apps.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

This sort of statistic is quite interesting when you compare it to what we’ve seen from previous data regarding app store purchases. Apple takes in more revenue than Android because its users are purchasing more apps on average, whereas Android users don’t tend to spend as much money on apps, often opting for free software instead.

Having said that, Distimo, another research company, has stated that revenues are up for Google Play:

[quote qtext=”Daily revenues from the main app stores has increased ‘significantly’ in the past six months.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Either way it’s good news for Google, downloads are on the rise and revenues appear to be up. Android has iOS line-up squarely in its sights, so let the battle continue.

  • MasterMuffin

    My friend with an iPhone has 3 pages for games (!) and this seems to be a trend with iOs users (using their phones as toys). I have one game on my phone :) Just sayin’

    • Piyush

      Dude if your one of the friend has lots of games on there iPhone doesn’t mean that every iPhone users does , i have friends with iPhone and none of them have games on there iPhone and i have gs2 filled with lots games on my phone now what you want to say.

      • MasterMuffin

        I want to say that I should have added a “no offense” at the end so that nobody would get angry about my personal opinion. Also I used the word “seem” so that you wouldn’t take it as a fact, more like an observatorion that’s based on few (10+) iPhone users. I think that this is a fact though: many parents buy iPhones for their child(ren) as toys. Many young adults buy iPhones also for the same reason (to use them as toys) or because it makes them iCool. I have nothing (well a little) against iUsers, my both sisters are iUsers and I don’t go screaming at their faces everyday “blind iSheep burn Crapple”. I have an iPad and I like it (though I’d like to get an Android tablet but iPad’s what I have and that’s what I’ll use).

        I also like trains :D

        • Piyush

          Everyone’s opinion matter , but mostly i think parents give mostly android device because its cheaper in our country that’s i have seen.

  • aholsteinson

    Yet still developers make far more money on iOS than on Android. The number and quality of tablet optimized apps is also much lower on Android. I think these are two areas where Android needs to improve.

  • Hosni

    I see no “news” in this particular story … something is likely to happen in October.

    In terms of global market shares (smartphones + tablets), one might expect about 3-4 times as many Android app downloads than iOS app downloads and 3-4 times as much revenue generated. However, neither of those ratios is even close to being realized; with respect to total downloads iOS apps are roughly at parity with Android apps, while with respect to paid app downloads iOS is far in the lead. Comparing total downloads is not a particularly useful metric, since people oftentimes download free apps simply to try them out (only to never use them again), whereas paid apps are virtually always intended for use.

    If I were a professional app developer (I’m not), I would interpret this article — and others — as evidence that iOS represents a superior business opportunity. Not only would I be attracted by the additional income I could earn, but I would be frustrated by Android’s fragmentation problem. Android appears to attract a greater share of hobbyist developers willing to work for free and unwilling to be constrained (and delayed) by Apple’s approval process for apps.

    If I were a hardware maker (I’m not), I would prefer to have iOS on my device because less fragmentation makes for a stronger ecosystem that creates customer loyalty for future devices I plan to launch, and I would prefer a user cohort willing to spend more money.

    As a consumer, I don’t really care who is winning this “war.” Consumers are interested in high-quality software, and are neither helped nor harmed by the total number of downloads on either platform. However, for reasons mentioned two paragraphs above, I would expect the average quality of apps to be higher on iOS devices — though of course excellent titles are available for both OS’s.