The iOS App Store has always been pretty dominant over whichever App Store Android has had to offer, but things are definitely shifting, and a bit more rapidly than Apple would like to see. First of all, let’s look at the numbers for both Apple and Google in 2013: Apple brought in 18m in 2013, whereas Google brought in 12m. However, these numbers don’t tell the entire story; the Google Play Store may have earned 33% less than Apple, but they actually saw an increase of over 342% compared to their 3.5m in sales for 2012.
Apple saw a 20% increase in sales, but that is attributed to the fact that they actually made 15m last year. This information makes me really excited for the upcoming year, especially since the Play Store actually grew in sales every single month in 2013. In-fact, Google surpassed Apple in total volume of applications downloaded this year, so either Apple forces way steeper prices, or people with iOS devices buy more expensive applications and less cheap ones.
One major factor to Apple’s continued success is a service that has been offered by Apple for many years, download music via iTunes. Since Apple requires people use one main account to manage all of their applications, music, and videos, those users are all set-up and ready to go when purchasing non-free applications. This leads me to wonder, if this wasn’t the case, would we instead be seeing Google as the leading in Application revenue?
Along with these statistics, another fact (which was blatantly obvious) has had some light shined upon it, and that is that there was a tremendous increase in popularity of in-app purchases being added to games and other applications. These have been referred to as “freemium” applications, pay-to-win games, and a variety of other titles. In reality, this business model is not at all new, and was extremely prevalent in the PC Gaming scene, particularly in MMORPGs.
Unfortunately, these types of applications and games don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and they’re only becoming more and more popular. Hopefully in the future consumers can take a stand against these in-app purchases, but first they’ll need to realize: spending $9.99 on an app one time is much more cost-efficient then paying your blacksmith two bucks for expedited production and shipping every time you want a new piece of equipment.