iOS still leads Android in app starts and revenue by sizeable margin

Dec 13, 2011
Tech

Google’s Android platform will be the leading platform for developers within six months, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last week, but if that’s true, it’ll be a serious turn-around for the platform. During 2011, Apple’s iOS platform continued to lead the way in terms of apps starting on its platform before migrating to others, and […]

Google’s Android platform will be the leading platform for developers within six months, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last week, but if that’s true, it’ll be a serious turn-around for the platform.

During 2011, Apple’s iOS platform continued to lead the way in terms of apps starting on its platform before migrating to others, and in revenue earned for those apps. And according to Flurry Analytics’ analysis, Apple will continue to dominate Android in app starts throughout the fourth quarter of 2011, enjoying some 73 percent of apps that eventually cover both platforms on iOS first.

Flurry’s analytics software appears in about 25 percent of the apps on both platforms, according to GigaOM’s story on the subject, and the company says it tracked some 50,000 app start-ups during the course of 2011. Its data shows that the discrepancy between which platform developers choose to launch their apps on has actually grown over the course of the year. In the first quarter of 2011, only 63 percent of developers were choosing iOS over Android for the launch of their apps. By the next quarter, the number had jumped to 73 percent choosing iOS, and peaked in the third quarter at 75 percent. It dropped slightly back to 73 percent in Q4.

Flurry also found that revenues for developers are still lop-sided in favor of iOS apps. For every dollar developers earn on Apple’s platform, the make about 24 cents for the same app on Android. “This is based on a sample of in-app purchases of top apps comprising millions of users on both platforms,” GigaOM explains.

READ  NBC shows come to more small screens

The trouble there, Flurry thinks, is with Google Checkout, the software Google uses to let users purchase things through its infrastructure and make in-app purchases. Every single iOS user has an Apple ID, with which they can make in-app purchases, but the penetration of Google Checkout among Android users is a lot lower. Therefore, while there are more Android users as compared to iOS, the pool of those users that’s able to make purchases might be smaller.

Google’s platform is substantially more popular than Apple’s. Flurry estimates about 550,000 new Android devices are activated every day, compared to about 450,000 new iOS devices each day, but right now, iOS users are more valuable. GigaOM points out that developers are also gravitating toward the Kindle Fire because of Amazon’s infrastructure setup. Those users are ready, willing and (most importantly) able to spend money on apps and while using those apps. The same is true for Apple users: they spend money in their apps, so even though there are fewer of them, new apps still make their way to iOS first.

Android might one day find a way to capitalize on its widespread popularity, but for right now, it seems the best new apps are likely to show up on Apple devices, at least initially. That might be a good thing to keep in mind going into the holiday gift-giving season.

Search for more

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

    Home Apps Games