Both Apple’s App Store and Google Play now boast more than 700,000 apps, but Apple’s store generates 4.3 times more cash. Manufacturers on Google’s Android platform may be selling more devices, but Apple’s App Store is still the best place to be for developers trying to make a living. That’s the bottom line in the year-end review published Friday by Distimo, a Dutch analytics company: “On a typical day in November 2012, the revenues in the Apple App Store exceeded $15M USD, while in Google Play the revenues are just below $3.5M USD in 20 of the largest countries in both app stores.”
The report is packed with surprising details. For example:
- Countries with fastest app revenue growth: Russia leads the world on the iPad (up 143%), Japan leads on the iPhone (+138%) and Korea in Google Play (+94%)
- Fastest growing apps: It took AOL nine years and Facebook nine months to hit the 1 million user mark. The mobile app Draw Something did it in nine days; Line Pop did it in three — and within 12 days had generated an estimated $1 million in revenue.
- Fewer winners take home more: In January 2012, 11 apps accounted for 10% of the revenues on the App Store. By November, that number was down to 7.
- The average selling price varies by platform: It’s down 8% since January on the iPad and up 16% on the iPhone. Google Play apps, on average, are more expensive. Navigation apps, on average, cost the most.
- In-app purchases vs. one-off sales: Revenue from in-app purchases continued to grow in 2012 — from 53% in January on the App Store to 69% in November — but one-off sales still generated 35% of the revenue among the top 10 money makers on Apple’s iOS.
- The big money is in the game market: See chart below.