Apple Beats Android On Developer Revenues

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Android developers are taking only a fraction of what their Apple iOS counterparts are earning

A new report has highlighted the disparity between developer revenues for Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android, finding that Android developers have taken in only a fraction of the money to be had on Apple’s App Store.

That’s in spite of Android’s higher market share, which a recent report has estimated at more than 50 percent worldwide.

Higher income

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster used Apple’s public announcements and data from AndroLib, an Android application discovery tool, to estimate that Apple’s App Store has taken in gross revenues of $4.9 billion (£3bn) since its launch in July 2008, with $3.5bn paid to developers.

By comparison, Android Market, which launched in February 2009, has grossed $341m and paid $239m to developers, or about 7 percent of the total gross revenue of Apple’s operation, according to Munster’s estimates.

While Android has been growing more quickly than iOS, Munster nevertheless estimated that the revenue disparity will continue for some time, saying Apple will probably hang onto more than 70 percent of what users spend on mobile applications for the next three or four years.

The underlying pattern is that users pay for a far smaller proportion of Android applications than they do for iOS software, Munster said. Only 1.3 percent of Android applications are paid for, compared to 13.5 percent for iOS.

The figures underscore the profound differences underlying the Android and iOS systems, and are particularly notable in the light of continued data showing the rapid growth of Android market share.

Market share disparity

New estimates from advertising provider Millennial Media indicated that Android has an overall 54 percent share of the market for smartphones and connected devices, compared to 28 percent for iOS and 13 percent for RIM.

The figures are based on data from Millennial’s advertising network.

Last month ABI Research found that Android had overtaken iOS on application downloads. Android had 44 percent of the market for downloaded (but not necessarily paid) applications, compared to 31 percent for iOS, ABI found.

Apple’s App Store stocks more than 500,000 applications, compared to more than 300,000 for Google’s Android Market.

ABI said that while Android took the lead in mobile app downloads, Apple’s app downloads per user bested Android by a ratio of 2 to 1.

“Apple’s superior monetisation policies attracted good developers within its ranks, thus creating a better catalogue of apps and customer experience,” said ABI analyst Dan Shey.

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