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:
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.
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:
Daily revenues from the main app stores has increased ‘significantly’ in the past six months.
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.