While Apple has long reigned supreme in generating revenue for developers, their market share is quickly eroding. Recent research by Distimo suggests that in a few months, the App Store had gone from a 74% share of overall mobile revenue to a 65% share.

This is almost entirely juxtaposed to Android’s market dominance, which is not reflective of revenue. While Android may hold a lion’s share of the devices in the world, the Play Store still lags behind. This can be attributed to a few factors, with the largest being fragmentation. Between the fragmentation of devices and operating systems, it’s hard for a developer to adequately target an audience.

The App Store also has more paid apps, which will naturally lead to more revenue. The average price per app on the App Store is $0.19 for the iPhone, and $0.50 for the iPad. For Android, the price drops to an average of $0.06 per app, and there is no differentiating between phone and tablet.

If that all sounds like trouble to developers, it shouldn’t. In his speech at the Big Android BBQ this year, developer Jon Hancock outlined how he made his first $100,000 on the Play Store. In his presentation, he proved that Android users were very willing to pay for apps, but those apps had to hit a certain metric. Of course they had to be really good, but they also needed to be appropriately priced. Jon also did a lot of grunt work to get his app noticed, and the hard work paid off.

Android and iOS are always going to be two very different realms, but the revenue stream for developers is becoming hard to discern. Even though the App Store has a larger share of the pie, the Play Store is closing in quick.

  • TomMleko

    I’m not really sure if it’s all down to fragmentation. It seems that the fragmentation card is being played way too often.
    When you look at how devs approach the market, from tech perspective, they usually set a bottom threshold to API level, device performance, form factor, etc. Everything above this is their target market.
    Having quite a lot of downloads under my belt I can say, and it’s often repeated by others, it’s rather down to the fact Google Play for quite a long time didn’t encourage us to leave that precious credit card details. There are also other factors we should take into account.
    But fragmentation is being treated like a joker card to justify someone’s failure on Android. “It wasn’t me, it was Fragmentation Man” 😉
    Good thing is we’re getting there. Give it another year.


    Google play is teh suck. Boot the most useful apps. Why!?