Apple App Store revenue almost double that of Google Play

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iPhone App Store
Apple's redesign of the App Store with iOS 11 probably helped increase software downloads and revenue.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In the battle of the mobile software stores, Apple has a huge lead. Consumers spending in the iOS App Store during the first half of this year was almost double that of rival Google Play.

But there’s good news for both companies, as each experienced solid year-over-year growth. 

Revenue for the App Store during the January-June period was approximately $22.6 billion worldwide, up 26.8 percent from the same period of 2017, according to the market analysts at Sensor Tower. For Google Play, H1 revenue was $11.8 billion, up 29.7 percent.

The analysts pegged the dramatic difference between spending in the two software stores to one simple reason: “Google Play … unlike its competitor, is not available in China.”

Apple App Store revenue versus Google Play in H1-2018
Apple App Store revenue versus Google Play in H1-2018
Graphic: SensorTower

When counting the number of app installs, not money generated from them, the shoe is on the other foot. Google Play first-time downloads, totaled approximately 36 billion, versus the App Store’s estimated 15 billion.

But it’s not all bad news. For one thing, iOS app installs grew 13.1 percent year-over-year, compared to Android’s 10.6 percent growth. 

And as SensorTower pointed out, “Apple’s platform earned more than double the revenue of Google’s with fewer than half as many downloads.”

Top mobile apps in the first half of 2018

Revenue wasn’t the only thing growing in the first half of the year.  First-time application installs through both Apple’s and Google’s stores hit approximately 51 billion, an increase of 11.3 percent from the same period of last year.

Facebook led the pack, with its WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram applications taking all of the top four places by combined installs across both platforms.

Netflix was the highest grossing non-game app worldwide in the first half of 2018, followed by Tinder and Tencent Video, according to SensorTower.

Apple redesigned the App Store in iOS 11 last fall. This reportedly benefited developers of third-party software a great deal.