Does it pay to be an Android app developer? How do revenues on Android compare to those on Apple’s mobile platform, iOS?
For a couple of years, app marketing and analytics firms have estimated the size of the Android-iOS monetization gap using various definitions of revenue, and their conclusion has always been that Android falls short.
But in a new report, BI Intelligence explains that it’s no longer the case that there’s no money to be made on Android. In fact, when a broad view of revenue is taken into account, including advertising, mobile commerce, and other fees, Android only lags Apple by a hair. The report also explains how Android developers can do more to boost monetization. It’s also full of data that gauges the size of the opportunity in Android-land.
Here are our takeaways on the Android market opportunity:
- When taking into account commerce, advertising, developer fees and app revenue, Android has nearly closed the monetization gap with Apple’s iOS operating system. Android developers worldwide earn 90 cents for every 1$ earned by iOS developers, according to the latest data.
- Why is Android revenue catching up to Apple’s? In the last year, Android has made huge strides in solving its related fragmentation problem. Presently, a plurality of of Android devices, 45%, are running Jelly Bean, and older versions are updated through Google Play services.
- The strategy of updating phones through its own software also means the platform can do an end-run around carriers and manufacturers that create their own versions of Android and are slow to push out updates.
- Advertising has emerged as the dominant revenue source for Android developers, and there’s a real opportunity here since ad rates are still lower on Android than iOS.
- Google has teamed up with carriers in many markets in order to bill customers for app downloads and purchases.
- Google has given developers more ways to improve their revenue such as app translation tools.
- New businesses have grown up that specialize in boosting Android monetization rates.
- Android is running on 76% of mobile devices and 80% of smartphones. In the same way that Windows software defined the PC era, Android now defines mobile computing and eventually that will translate to even more revenue.
- That said, even as it continues to gain market share overseas, Android’s growth has stalled in the U.S.
The report is full of charts and Excel datasets that can be easily downloaded and put to use. Subscribers also gain access to our chart library of hundreds of charts and datasets on the mobile industry, and receive weekly in-depth reports and daily data-driven stories on the latest mobile trends.
In full, the report:
- Analyzes why Google Play still lags the Apple app store in paid app download and in-app purchase revenue
- Explains how Android has become only the third tech platform in history to reach 1 billion users
- Examines the percentage of mobile ad revenue pulled in by iOS apps compared to Android apps
- Reviews device and version fragmentation on Android and explains why they still present a headache for app publishers and developers
- Reviews ad CTRs or click-through rates for Android and iOS app ads
- Explains the interrelated forces behind the monetization gap, including an understandable developer bias toward iOS