Why Is the App Store More Profitable than the Play Store?

Statistics show that Apple and Google are the two undisputed rulers of the mobile operating system market. Apple is close to becoming the leading OS provider in the United States, and has a strong presence in the rest of the world, too, while Android has the Asian market covered, thanks especially to the many local manufacturers using its OS on their cheaper, more accessible handsets. According to IDC, Apple has a global market share close to 14%, while Android dominates with almost 83%. Still, developers report that their apps released through Apple’s App Store are far more profitable. Reports say that the App Store has generated 80% more revenue in this year’s third quarter than the Play Store.

How come?

Well, first of all, widespread use doesn’t necessarily mean higher revenues. The handsets offered by Apple are not focusing on the low end market, while Android covers all the segments between “under $50” and premium models. The fact that owning an iPhone involves quite a financial effort assures that the handsets will most likely be used with individuals with higher revenues, more likely to spend either inside apps, or to purchase them.

Another reason why Apple’s App Store is performing great is that it has a strong presence on some of the richest markets – namely the US (where it has a market share of over 40%) and Japan (where it is the market leader with more than 60%).

And there is one more thing that both developers and users value about Apple’s App Store – its policy. First of all, it is a bit more permissive than Google’s Play Store when it comes to the types of apps that can listed. For example, gaming operators like the Royal Vegas or Paddy Power have its permission to list their apps in the store, provided they are in conformity with its rules. Second, the content that makes it into the App Store – and ultimately becomes accessible to users – is reviewed strictly enough to filter out anything that could be harmful or deceptive.

According to Statista, while Google’s Play Store has 1.6 million apps (with a more than 80% market share), Apple’s App Store has about 1.5 million of them, with a much smaller slice of the global market. Games are – of course – the most popular app category in the App Store, covering over 22% of its content, and games are also the most lucrative apps there. And people are downloading them like crazy – the App Store has reached 100 billion downloads this June.

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