Apple and Google are heavyweights of the mobile app industry, although while the latter is increasing its Android app earnings, the former remains dominant. We will now take a look at how this has become the case and how it may plan out in the future.
Although Android hit the mobile market after iOS, its open source nature and the breadth of manufacturer support it received have helped it to outdo Apple’s rival in raw sales.
The Google Play app marketplace has also become a very popular download platform, eventually catching up with iOS in terms of the number of available programs.
However, the large number of free titles on Google Play has meant that the money it makes has generally remained far below that achieved by the iOS App Store.
Now the latest figures from App Annie have shown that in spite of Apple’s strong lead in mobile app monetisation, Google and Android are making up ground surprisingly quickly.
In the first half of 2012, Android saw relatively flat growth in the app earnings, while Apple’s iOS fluctuated without really gaining traction. But from August onwards, sales really started to fly for both companies and December proved to be a particularly popular month for paid downloads.
While iOS makes most of its app cash in North America and Europe, Android is generating a good income from Japan and South Korea, which could be significant in the future.
Meanwhile, China is also rising to prominence, as it is currently the sixth biggest earner for iOS and will almost certainly eclipse other nations once uptake of the iPhone is more widespread. In fact, there have even been rumours that Apple is working on a budget iPhone designed specifically for the Chinese market.
It is important to remember that although Google and Apple are walking away with a big chunk of change thanks to app sales, these figures also represent a strengthening global market which, irrespective of individual platform performance levels, is good for app developers and mobile users in general.
By using app development sites, it is easier than ever for businesses to develop useful mobile apps. These can then be released on the major download services and gain access to a large user base.
So will Apple keep making more money from smartphone apps than Google, or can the sheer weight of all those Android users eventually tip the scales in its favour further down the line?
[author ]Jim Peters is a writer who specialises in covering topics related to smartphones and the mobile app market for sites including http://www.spuddmobile.com/. He is an Android user, although appreciates the quality that can be achieved on iOS.[/author]