Google Play games revenue grew twice as fast as Apple’s app store in Q4 2013

Google’s Play store is steaming ahead of Apple’s app factory when it comes to mobile games, according to the latest stats compiled by IDC and App Annie.

The Play Store quadrupled its games revenue in Q4 2013, compared to the same period in 2012 – whereas iOS merely doubled its takings. Of course, we say merely doubled, but that’s still an excellent result, and mobile gaming is clearly forging ahead on all fronts.

The fact of the matter is, though, that Android gaming doubled up on the growth iOS managed, with Venturebeat noting that IDC and App Annie put this gain down largely to the Asian market. Android devices have spread thick and fast in the far East, due to the budget handsets which Apple doesn’t have in its armoury. (Apple’s idea of a budget smartphone is one that’s priced just under £500, as opposed to just over, of course).

In total, the app industry raked in $16 billion (£9.6 billion) in 2013.

Games have always been popular on smartphones and tablets, but they now account for no less than 75 per cent of total mobile app revenue – and while Apple is making chunky profits on its premium hardware, maybe it should be thinking a bit more about these figures.

Cupertino recently signed a big deal to push the iPhone into more Chinese hands on the China Mobile network, but pre-orders for the iPhone 5S and 5C were said to be disappointing.

IDC research director Lewis Ward commented: “Total portable game spending in Asian and Pacific [nations] outpaced that of any other major global region last year. The Google Play ecosystem in particular benefited from a big regional upswing in the installed base of smartphones and tablets in 2013, but rising living standards in Asian and Pacific countries generally also buoyed game spending.”

The best-selling Android game of 2013 was Puzzle & Dragons, with the top dog on iOS being Clash of Clans.