iPad, iPhone app revenue overwhelms Android app revenue

New figures for early 2012 show Android apps earning less than 13% of iOS apps

Demand for apps on mobile devices continues to be strong, according to new findings from CCS Insights and Distimo. Their numbers indicate that the iPhone App Store generated daily revenue of $3.34 million, while the iPad generated $2.04 million daily in app sales (counting only the 200 highest-grossing apps). Android app revenue grew 31% in January, but the total only reached $679,000 per day (combined for phones and tablets), or less than 13% of the total iOS app revenue.

The majority of the revenue comes from in-app purchases, constituting more than 60% of the revenues across iOS and Android platforms combined in January. February saw that percentage climb to 73%; it was 79% if you only counted iPhone apps. Clearly, in-app purchasing has become the winner in mobile apps, and it continues to gain over other monetization methods.

February did show a drop of 27% in iPad app revenues, which the analysts say is probably due entirely to anticipation of the new iPad which shipped in March. This also shows that many of the new iPad buyers were current iPad owners getting the latest hardware.

These figures continue to show why mobile developers tend to focus first on iOS rather than Android; it's where the money is. However, other data shows that Amazon's version of the Android Market brings in about 89% of what Apple's App Store does per active user. There's still plenty of upside potential for Android app sales, if Google can improve their store.

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Latest comments (3)

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London5 years ago
A lot of big games that my wife has to pay for on iPhone (including the Angry Birds series) are free, ad supported titles on Android. I wonder how much of an impact that has on these figures? The same is true for hits like Draw Something and Words With Friends on both platforms. Are in-app ad revenues counted in these figures, and how much money does advertising make for companies compared to other revenue sources?
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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 5 years ago
What I've read from most devs is that they go with ad-supported on Android not because they want to, but because Android users are more reluctant than iOS users to pay for anything. There are a good number of possibilities why this might be the case (more tech-savvy users; less polished apps; etc) but nobody really knows for sure.

What is clear is that ad-supported versions of equivalent apps don't make anywhere near as much money as the paid versions on iOS, to the point where several high-profile app devs have abandoned their Android versions after support costs far outweighed platform revenue. It's kind of baffling, but it's been that way for years and shows very little sign of improving.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 5th April 2012 2:40pm

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
If these figures are the Google, store, and the Amazon store seems to do better, what about the numerous over smaller stores. Whilst they probably don't make a major difference, surely to properly compare revenues on the platform, you need to look at all the places customers can spend money, on iOS that is one store, but surely if someone can sell on several Android stores, the numbers for the Google marketplace is not drawing the full picture for comparison. In fact, if Google is doing 13% and Amazon is doing 89%, that suggests just with the two major marketplaces Android is making 102% of what iOS is unless I misunderstood a number, and I assume there is nothing to stop an app appearing on both? Having not had an Android, I don't know for sure if any exclusivity clauses are present.
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