Google Play Store downloads surpass Apple App Store for the first time

by: Robert TriggsAugust 1, 2013

Google Play

According to research conducted by App Annie Index, Google Play exceeded the Apple App Store for quarterly app downloads for the first time. But we’re not talking tiny margins here, the Google Play store managed to surpass the Apple App Store’s downloads by 10 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

It looks like the Play Store picked up the pace a little quicker than other analysts expected, but it was seemingly inevitable that Google Play would overtake Apple in regard to app downloads, simply because of Android’s larger install base. However, Apple still managed to make a lot more money from its smaller portion of downloads, the company generated 2.3 times as much revenue as Google’s storefront over the same quarter.

Google Play vs Apple Store Q2 2013

This difference in revenue is no-doubt due to the trends identified by other research firms, which noted that Google customers prefer cheaper apps than their Apple counterparts.

App Annie’s latest statistics also reveal some interesting information about the largest markets for each of the two smartphone rivals.

Play Store country downloads Q2 2013

The US retained its top spot with both storefronts as the largest market for downloads. This isn’t particularly surprising considering the size of the US market, but it’s a little more interesting to note that Apple’s App Store received its largest number of downloads from more economically developed countries, like the United Kingdom and Japan, whilst the Play Store seemed to fair much better in emerging economies.

We’ve been talking quite a bit about how emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil could become increasingly important markets as the major western markets appear to be saturating, and it’s Android which seems to be performing slightly better in these markets. It will be interesting to see if these countries continue to swing future downloads, and maybe revenues, in Google’s favor.

If you’d like to take a closer look at store revenue statistics, and some other data, head on over to the original report.

  • Dalian barons

    Can’t wait for android revue to equal iOS so we can get even better and more games

    • Cao Meo

      Play store growth is breathtaking thanks to N7 and new Google’s attention to quality.

      I think by next year Play Store will surpass Appstore in revenues.

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    I will never understand this “cheap app” behaviour on android. I’m willing to pay a max of 5€ for any worthy app. Even more for work-concerning Apps. Why do people accept really annoying Ads and even spyware before paying a developer?

    • rabidhunter

      For useful apps that I use consistantly, I don’t mind paying $5-$10 or more if it’s really something I’m going to use everyday. For games, I don’t have a lot of time to invest in them. I pretty much use games as a distraction while waiting for an event. I will spend up to $1.99 for games, but usually not a whole lot more. That’s just about how much use I get from them. It’s nothing toward the develpers, they work hard. It’s just a conflict between what I need, what I will actually use, and what my wallet has.

    • RaptorOO7

      Even worse why won’t developers offer apps for full price instead of ad based or when I have already paid for an app and later switch it to free and make it ad based. That annoys the crap out of me. I paid for it, now I am stuck with ads. Fortunately I use AdBlock.

  • William Worlde

    In my 3 years with the iOS ecosystem, I never paid for a single app for my phone. In my 8 months on Android, I’ve bought 5 or 6 apps @ $2.99 and less. I wanted to support the developers, not that I minded the ads, as I really appreciate the openness of this ecosystem.

    The reason I generally don’t pay for apps is that I try them more than keep them. I use them on a short term basis and if they don’t meet my *total* needs, then off my phone they go. Why should I pay for something that I’m not using? A good majority just aren’t that good.

    Which brings me to a “funny” story. I’ve been looking for a good Power Toggle Control app. I saw one relatively cheap that looked good and against my better judgement jumped right into buying it, as there was no free version. Well, now I have a piece of crap that I paid for, uninstalled and am using a free, more useful app, which I’d buy save for the fact that it’s only offered as a free app! Ha, ha!

    As a longtime Windows user, which continues to be the productivity ecosystem of my choice, you cannot truly compare the closed Apple to the open Android systems. It’s like trying to compare the highly proprietary Apple’s 5-10% desktop market penetration to Windows’ “open” dominance; you can’t. And that’s something I never thought I’d use in one sentence: Windows and open, but it’s all relative, isn’t it? Ha!

    It’s also the reason I don’t yet have a tablet as I don’t truly like any of the available still-maturing W8 tablets. But, in a choice between iOS and Android tablet for productivity, I’d easily take the better-designed Apple with its better offering of apps – paid and free.

    • Cristi13

      As far as I know Microsoft made some of the windows versions open a or at least semi-open. But I don’t remember which ones.

  • abazigal

    So how exactly does it benefit the developer if he earns less revenue, even when his app is being downloaded more?

    Won’t that just perpetuate the vicious cycle of resource-hogging ads and annoying in-app purchases?

    • Xennex1170

      Maybe it benefits the developer if it is ad-based or has in-app purchasing? Developer revenue is not just at the Google Play POS.

      • abazigal

        The two forms of monetization that I absolutely detest the most. Why would I want to contend with annoying ads that take up part of my screen and drain battery, or have to resort to IAPs that ruin the gaming experience and usually end up costing the consumer more than what a typical full-featured game would have cost to begin with?

        Like when I see IAPs going at over $100, I am like…who actually pays for all these?!?

        • Xennex1170

          Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter the reality is that those 2 alternate revenue generators are commonly used to monetize otherwise ‘free’ apps. Another benefit that comes to mind would be getting your name and sample of your skills out so others can see the stability of your code. Responsiveness to creative comments left on your app page would be another way you can promote yourself. If you have more downloads, you probably also get a lot more comments to review.

  • Tamadrummer94

    Until they close and even surpass that revenue gap, iOS is still going to get exclusives and first priority by developers. Sigh.

  • FunkMonker

    What I’ve always hated about Google Play was the lack of ease to add money into your account. But that problem has been solved by the recent addition of Google Play gift cards. I’ve been buying apps ever since their release in my local tech stores.

    • RaptorOO7

      You need to be able to buy Google Play cards in more locations, itunes gift cards are everywhere and I should be able to either just use a cc, paypal or get a GP GC at a grocery store, etc.

      • FunkMonker

        I’ve never had a problem getting them. I can find them in my local walmart and gamestores.

  • Sidd

    I am just wondering about the phrase “Apple still … the same quarter.”

    As far as I know Google pays a certain amount to carriers (it’s 25% I guess) for Android Phones/Apps and keeps only 5% with themselves. Apple doesn’t pays anything to carriers. I am curious if this report has considered this? And if this has not been taken into account, definitely Apple’s profit will be more. You can’t compare 5% with about 30% revenue!!

    • Xennex1170

      The footnotes for the full report indicate that the revenue figure shown in the chart represents only the 70% that app publishers receive and does not include the 30% cut taken by Apple/Google. Also it is noted that the figures only show revenue for the Apple App and Google Play store app purchases and in-app purchases. The figure does not include revenue by any other Android App store (e.g. Amazon) nor does it include revenue from ads.