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Google surges ahead of Apple in app store battle

Google continues to grow its lead against Apple in the App Store battle, with Google Play ahead by 85 per cent on downloads. It follows strong growth in Brazil, India, Mexico, Vietnam and The Philippines for Google Play, where millions of people are receiving their first smartphone.

Even with the explosive growth in downloads, Apple’s iOS App Store continues to surpass Google Play on revenue. Apple still holds a 45 per cent lead in the revenue battle, thanks to Europe, Japan and the United States sticking with the iPhone and iPad.

China is another region where Apple has the upper hand, due to Google Play’s ban in the region. Third-party providers sell all of the Android apps in China, which could be the deciding factor on revenue between the two stores.

Interestingly, only one of the top five countries in the “most downloaded” section spend the most money on the Google Play store. Brazil, India, Russia and Mexico download a ton of apps, but Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Germany are the countries spending the most.

That is not the case on the iOS App Store, with the only change in countries being Russia in downloads for Australia in revenue. The standings do change somewhat, with China first in number of downloads, but third behind the United States and Japan in revenue.

iOS and Android users also have different application preferences, with iOS users enjoying a lot of music and using their iPhone or iPad for education, while Android users spend more time watching movies, videos and talking to friends or family.

Other movements in the App Store include core games like RPGs, MMOs and adventure games becoming popular, especially in countries like Taiwan, China and South Korea. Cord cutters in the United States continue to grow with HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix and other media streaming platforms; the same thing is happening in China with Youku, iQIYI and Tencent Video controlling the Entertainment section.

The big question that still remains is how much Google Play will suffer in the long term from the Chinese ban. Google makes no money from China, due to the bans on Gmail, Google Search and YouTube.

Source: App Annie (opens in new tab)

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.