App trends: Android gets most downloads, but Apple makes most money

12/04/2013

Just over half (51%) of all apps downloaded during the first quarter of 2013 were from Google Play, but Apple generated 74% of all app revenue, according to new global data.

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The study, from Canalys, found that the four leading app stores (Google, Apple, BlackBerry and Windows) had a total of 13.4 billion downloads during Q1, generating revenue of $2.2bn.

“Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored,” Tim Shepherd, a Canalys senior analyst, said in statement.

Some of the strongest growth over the quarter was seen in emerging markets such as Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil. While those areas saw significant growth in terms of downloads, that didn’t necessarily translate into revenue.

"This is a multi-billion-dollar growth market, with more and more consumers around the world now comfortable and confident in finding apps, downloading them and making in-app purchases, on a growing addressable base of smart phones and tablets,” said Adam Daum, Canalys' chief analyst of analytics.

In North America where smartphones are commonplace, app downloads were up 8%, with revenue trailing slightly behind at 6%.

“The strength of app ecosystems will increasingly help to determine winners and losers in the smart device industry. BlackBerry 10 now has more than 100,000 apps available through its storefront, showing good growth from the 70,000 it boasted at launch, and the new devices on the platform have given BlackBerry a much greater chance to compete for consumer attention.

Its app story is going from strength to strength, but there is no room for complacency. Microsoft, with the help of partners such as Nokia, is also making good progress attracting some important titles to the Windows Phone platform, but it too needs to do more to make building apps for its platform a priority for developers and also do a better job of marketing and communicating the already established strength of its app story,” said Shepherd.

“The Apple-Google duopoly creates certain challenges for app publishers, carriers, investors and device vendors, so there is intense interest in the possible emergence of a third ecosystem,” added Daum.

Read the full report here

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