Smartphone and tablet apps have been big business for some time now, and the market certainly isn’t slowing down. Apple announced a record breaking month for their App Store in December 2013, with over $1 billion in sales being made. In the average day, it is estimated that App Store sales amount to around $5.1 million, whereas Google’s equivalent for Android devices, the Google Play marketplace, makes a comparatively small $1.1 million. This is despite the fact there are far more Android devices in use in the world than there are iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices.
This is believed to be largely because there is more trust in the security and quality assurance on the App Store, and because there is less fragmentation in terms of the versions of the operating systems that are in common use – 78% of iOS users are estimated to be on the latest version, but for Android, only around half of users have Jelly Bean, the most up to date version, and a lot of devices still on the market only support older versions. This makes the App Store more appealing to developers as there is less compatibilty testing involved.
However, Google are addressing these issues, and they also have a couple of selling points of their own that may help turn the tide in their direction and lead Google Play to become the quality app developers’ first choice.
Apple’s App Store is notorious among developers of games and apps for being much harder to get your app onto. Apple are very strict about what they will allow, with things like adult themed apps completely forbidden, and other restrictions preventing other apps from being released on the store.
However, it is worth considering that Android’s user base is more diverse and they sell a lot more devices to people in developing markets or who want budget handsets, so their user base probably doesn’t have as much money to spend per capita on apps as Apple’s.