Google Play vs. Apple App Store - The Ride of Two App Development Boats

03 April 2018
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Thinking of developing a mobile application? Firstly, you have to make a major decision- what first iOS App or Android App? With a 99.6% of combined world market share, the competition between these two operating systems escalated to a very narrow “ two-cars race”

Both the app store be it be iOS app store or Google play store have their own set of pros and cons, they are quite often compared on the basis of monetary value based on the in-app purchases made by the users. Since most of the app developers want to make revenue-generating applications, it's very important to figure out which of the operating system supports the most amount of app purchases. It comes as son surprise, but recent researches show that on an average Apple applications make 76% more revenue than their Android mates, despite the share of google play store being four times that of iOS.

Now the bigger question is what is the reason behind iPhone users spending more on applications than the Android app users?

Gadget Demographics & Engagement

Let’s start with dissecting engagement. As per a research by Experian, a renowned global information providing group, an iPhone spends an average of 26 more minutes on their devices in a day than the Android users. Also, they spend much more on mobile commerce on their iPhones.

Let’s bring Android in the picture, where we have a diversity of users from budget phone users to high-end luxury mobile users, with a variance in their levels of usage also. On an average, the Android mobile phone users are more conscious when it comes to price, price plays the most important role when it comes to choosing an Android phone in the first place.

Research shows that the lesser the cost of the hardware, the lower is the time spent by the user of the applications and software. Going by the logical assumption, the lower-end customers don’t buy a lot of applications because they are not looking for any such value from their phones as the high-end Android and iPhone users do. Developing countries in the house to the majority of the Android phone users. This adversely affects the app purchases because the use of credit cards is quite low in developing countries.

Meanwhile, when it comes to iPhones 41% of its users earn more than $100,000 annually and tend to look for more out of their smartphones just because they can afford it. Higher engagement levels suggest that the iOS phone users are deriving far more value out of their gadgets, and thus are more likely for purchase applications which increase the capabilities of their phones.

Brand Loyalty = App Loyalty

One of the other reason why the share of revenue generated from iOS App Store is far more than that of Android Google Play store is that of the higher levels of brand loyalty. If we believe the research, the loyalty of iPhone users is incredibly higher than that of Android ones. Going by a survey by Morgan Stanley, 92% of iPhone users that they would end up buying Apple everytime they buy a new phone. Also, with every passing year, this percentage is increasing. Android phone users, when asked the same question, 77% of them said they would return back to Android as their next phone.

Change is in the Air

Over the last few years, paid iOS apps popularity has decreased, in 2008 it accounted for almost 74% of the applications in the app store. Presently, 78% of the total of around 2.2 million apps on the App store are available for free. Meanwhile, the rate of paid apps has increased in the Google App store, all thanks to the streamlining of the buying process which includes gift cards and pre-paid credit cards.

It's a Close Call

Although going by the numbers the iPhone users have spent much more on applications than their Android counterparts, the recent trends show that this gap is narrowing slowly and steadily. Where applications have been a key differentiator between the two operating systems for very long, user satisfaction on both Android and iOS have been levelling to a somewhat equal plane. The creation of mobile applications has been helping to shape and also, in turn, characterized the user experience on both the platforms. With the maturing app marketplaces, we are waiting to see how this whole thing will be reflected in the future of buying of the iOS and Android users.


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Lakhwinder Singh Lead Developer - Mobility

Lead Mobile App Developer, covers wide range of technologies applied to the development of websites and business applications too. Enjoys doing creative things in Mobile and is passionate about developing unique Mobile Products.

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