Google Play store brings in the numbers, Apple keeps the money

We've hardly ever seen any rivalry as hotly contested and long lasting as the one between Google's Play store and Apple's App Store. However, it seems Google Play Store is set to retain its edge when it comes to number of downloads.

But when it comes to revenue, despite recording twice the number of app downloads than Apple's App Store, Google Play store falls short.

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App Annie, an app analytics firm, said that thanks to emerging markets like Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, Google Play store increased its lead over Apple App Store in terms of downloads. However, the latter, thanks to increasing number of users in the United States, China and Japan, has earned more revenues as Apple's customers spend more on apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions.

"China was among the most important contributors as iOS downloads grew 20% from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015 and revenue doubled year over year. Google Play made impressive download share gains in the US, as its share of iOS and Google Play downloads combined surpassed the iOS App Store in 2015,” said App Annie.

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The reason behind Google Play store's lead has been due to the availability of cheap Android phones in emerging countries and also the demand for video, music and dating apps. Apple's penetration in such countries has been traditionally low due to the high cost of iPhones and lack of any cheap or mid-range iPhones on offer.

The gap in terms of number of app downloads is such that Google's lead is widening over the years. Yet, it is unable to match Apple's revenues in the long term. Even during the holiday season, Apple announced that its App Store recorded the biggest collections ever with customer spending a staggering $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases during the two weeks ending January 3.

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“The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

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