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Top app developers make gobs of cash from Apple, much less from Google

The top 100 app developers earned about 65 percent more revenue from Apple over Google. Ouch.

Published onJune 18, 2019

A photo of the Play Store showing free and paid apps

According to new data from Sensor Tower, the top 100 app developers earned around $84 million from sales on the Apple App Store during the first quarter of 2019. That’s is about $9 million more than app developers earned from the same platform last year during the same period.

Those same top 100 app developers also saw earnings go up for their apps on the Google Play Store. However, while Play Store revenue is certainly growing, it pales in comparison to the App Store.

Sensor Tower’s data suggests that top developers in the first quarter of the year earned around 65 percent more from the App Store than from the Play Store. That’s $84 million for the App Store compared to $51 million for the Play Store.


A chart depicting historical revenue for the top 100 app developers on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
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A photo of Amazon's Appstore, one of the best third party app stores for Android

Historically, the App Store has always been a bigger earner than the Play Store, even though the former is much smaller than the latter. The usual explanation for this disparity is that iPhone users are generally wealthier and willing to spend more money on apps and games.

Speaking of games, when you look at just the top 100 game developers on both platforms, the disparity narrows a bit. In Q1 2019, there was only a 49 percent difference between the App Store and Play Store revenue ($70 million for Apple, $48 million for Google).

Unfortunately, when you look exclusively at the figures for non-gaming applications, the disparity gets much wider. In Q1 2019, there was a whopping 232 percent disparity between Apple and Google, with app developers earning $23.3 million from the App Store and only $7 million from the Play Store.

You can read Sensor Tower’s full report by clicking here.

NEXT: Alternative app store Aptoide calls for Google to ‘play fair’

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