App Store made almost twice as much as Google Play in 2018


App Store
Apple apps no longer dominate App Store search results.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The App Store raked in almost twice as much revenue as Google Play in 2018, despite significantly fewer downloads.

Google’s marketplace did enjoy a 27.3 percent rise in gross app revenue year-over-year — a larger rise than Apple’s — but iOS remains the most lucrative platform for developers by far.

Smartphone makers are currently battling a decline in worldwide shipments, which analysts warn is only going to get worse. Apple recently cited this as one of the reasons why the iPhone is struggling. But in one area, the smartphone industry is thriving.

That’s mobile apps, which attracted more than 100 billion downloads in 2018, according to SensorTower estimates. A staggering 75.7 billion of those came from Android, yet Google’s platform didn’t make anywhere near as much cash as Apple’s.

App Store is a money-making machine

Worldwide Play Store revenue reached approximately $24.8 billion last year, up from $19.5 billion in 2017. App Store revenue was very nearly twice as much, rising to $46.6 billion from $38.7 billion. That’s a total of $71.3 billion combined — just from mobile apps.

Gross revenue from games reached $21.5 billion for the Play Store, up from $17.3 billion, while on iOS it reached $33.2 billion, up from $30.1 billion.

Google saw the most impressive growth in revenue off the back of 75.5 billion downloads, but the App Store, which saw 29.6 billion downloads, remains way out in front. That’s mostly due to the fact that iOS users are more willing to pay for their downloads.

On Android, where downloading and installing pirated apps and games is significantly easier, most developers tend to make their titles available for free.

Apple has paid over $100 billion to developers

This data comes just a few months after Apple announced it had now paid out more than $100 billion to developers since the App Store opened its doors in 2008.

Apple makes a pretty penny from it, too; the company charges developers a 30 percent cut on app and game purchases, and a 15 percent cut on subscriptions.

It’s no wonder Services — which includes App Store revenue — has become an increasingly important business for Apple as hardware sales have slowed.


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