Google Play saw 'tremendous growth' in 2012

According to Distimo's year-end review, Google Play experienced an aggregated daily revenue growth of 43 per cent across 20 of the largest countries where the store is available. Daily revenue for the Apple App Store grew 21 per cent in the same period.

Still, the growth of daily App Store's daily revenues was higher than the total daily revenues in Google Play when comparing absolute daily values. On a typical day in November, App Store revenues topped $15 million (£9.2 million) while Google Play made just below $3.5 million (£2.2 million) in the top 20 countries, Distimo found.

In-app purchases proved to be popular, with in-app revenue jumping from 53 per cent to 69 per cent this year. About 35 per cent of revenue from the top 10 publishers, however, still came from one-time app purchases.

Not surprisingly, some major players dominated app revenue. For example on 12 November seven apps made up 10 per cent of revenues in the App Store for iPhone, while six apps earned 10 per cent of revenue for iPad apps. In Google Play, four apps made 10 per cent of revenue.

But despite those numbers, Distimo said the opportunity for developers is "large," given the worldwide daily download and revenue volumes.

One big winner this year was Draw Something, which reached 9 million users in nine days. The game's publisher, OMGPOP, was later purchased by Zynga, but the game reportedly ended up losing millions of users just several months later. Asian publisher Naver also launched five apps, one of which - Line Pop - had 1.75 million downloads in 72 hours.

In examining which gadgets people were using to download their apps, Distimo found that Russia had the highest rate of tablet downloads. About 46 per cent of all iOS downloads there were done via the iPad. The Netherlands and Finland also had a high rate of tablet downloads, at 38 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.

On the other end, Japan's tablet download rate was much smaller, at 7 per cent. Google Play is very successful there, as well as South Korea, where the world's top phone maker (and Android enthusiast) Samsung has its headquarters.

Overall, the top app markets in the world are the UK, Japan, the US, and Australia.