back to article Google Play revenues leap 311% in 2012

Revenue from apps sold in the Google Play store have exploded this year, but they still have quite a way to go before catching up with the cash cow that is the iOS App Store. According to a new report by the app sales and download analysts at App Annie, Google Play sales revenue grew a hefty 311 per cent from January through …


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  1. LarsG

    Revenues UP

    Tax DOWN

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Because one has to do with the other?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Revenues or profits?

      More turn over but less profit?

  2. Mark .

    And what about other stores?

    It's flawed to only look at Google Play - as Apple have the advantage, as that's the only place you can download from for IOS. What are the stats like for Android in total?

    For developers, this is a circular argument - revenues are likely higher, because ios gets so much more support than other platforms, despite never being the most popular. Maybe Android revenue is rising because finally we're getting software support for it? Saying "We're not going to port to Android because they don't pay" reeks of the old "Linux users don't pay for software" flamebait, except this is a world where Android has a staggering 5 times the market share of ios on phones (and presumably still easily leads overall even with tablets included).

    Higher revenues for developers shouldn't be spun as a good thing anyway - from a user point of view, I much prefer a platform with more free software or lower cost software.

    (Though it's still interesting to see that Android is growing so rapidly - especially as this is presumably due to growth in userbase or more people using software, or more software being released, rather than software prices increasing.)

    Developers should look at other factors too - it's downloads or revenue per developer or per application, rather than total for the platform. So a platform with smaller share can still be viable if there's less competition (though iphone is both smaller and with more competition - but I'm thinking of other platforms too. I still get 100x the downloads on Symbian that I do for Android, for example).

    "It should be interesting to check the China v US figures in a few months, now that Apple has announced that the iPhone 5, iPad mini, and latest iPad will be available in the Middle Kingdom in the next two weeks."

    Because it's not like there'll be any new Android devices(!) Why does any stat that makes Apple look bad have to end with "But there'll be something new out from Apple to change it, honest!"? For Android we've got the high spec and low cost Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 2, not to mention rumours of a Galaxy Note 7, as well as loads of new Android phones on the way.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Your figures sound dodgy (and, prospective down voters, you'll want to stay with this until the end).

      The article makes clear that the US contributes the largest proportion of the pot to both stores.

      In the US the iPhone 5 recently outsold all Android devices combined (quite accurately reported as e.g. ).

      Conversely, earlier in the year Samsung had a two-to-one lead over Apple(eg, ) so that's a highly seasonal trend.

      Nevertheless, the reported story is exclusively about 2012 so the presumably temporary reversal of normal sales trends is quite relevant. My feeling is that the Android figures currently look proportionally worse (shortly after the iPhone 5 peak) than they will in, say, six months. If I were a developer making my decision solely on revenue trends I'd put more weight on Android than the bare numbers of this report suggests.

      That hypothetical being said, I actually am a developer and can tell you that we consider iOS and Android to be equally important on the grounds that iOS earns us more money right now but the potential for user growth under Android is fantastic. In terms of being healthy not just now but five years from now I think you'd be stupid not to bet on both.

      1. Lusty


        " My feeling is that the Android figures currently look proportionally worse (shortly after the iPhone 5 peak) than they will in, say, six months."

        I disagree, a large portion of the iPhone 5 sales were people who were upgrading. An upgrade to iPhone or iPad doesn't usually lead to any new free or paid app purchases so I doubt there would be as big of a skew as you're talking about. There may be a change but not a big one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've just withdrawn my credit card from my Google wallet so I'll have to go elsewhere if I want to buy further Android apps. There is no way I'm providing credit card information to an outfit that insists I use the same login to gain access to my Android devices that I use to pay for services. That goes against all the rules required by banks.

  3. Schultz

    Milk the customers

    I was curious to figure out how Supercell can pull in so much money via only 2 games. A look at the web-site indicates that the games rely heavily on in-game purchases (pay 99$ for virtual gems?!). That will surely make a lot of parents happy (NOT).

    Let's hope Android will never get there.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Milk the customers

      Have you not seen e.g. "Fashion Story" by TeamLava on Android then? $99 for 580 gems?

      But you're right, if the genre becomes popular on Android it'll probably come pre-installed on phones with the rest of the bloatware. Together with the open in-app purchase system and inadequate built-in parental restrictions it would be a disaster indeed.

      Let's keep that sort of milking to the Norton Security subscriptions mentioned as being very popular non-game app in the report. Only $30/year!

  4. Radelix

    Being an Android user I am finding that there are a larger quantity of higher quality apps available that I am willing to part with a few dollars over. Also to be fair discover-ability is bad on the play store but the "People who looked at this also viewed...." list becoming more least to my untrained eye.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Shiny Tax

    The same apps often cost more on iOS than they do on Android, simply because Apple customers are used to spending more. In fact, the trend on Android is towards "free to play". This would account for some of the revenue discrepancy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Shiny Tax

      Really? Is that why a TOP 5 game, GTA 3, costs £2.99 on iOS and £3.72 on Android?

      Must be all those Android users used to spend more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Shiny Tax

        @dx Dead Trigger, for example, is $0.99 on iOS, free on Android. Here's a link regarding the free to play model on Android:

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Shiny Tax

          You're mistaken, Dead Trigger is free on iOS too.

          Actually it became free to play due to rampant piracy on Android, even when it only cost 99c.

          Only way to go was the freemium model.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Shiny Tax


            "the number of pirates on iOS is comparable with the amount of jailbroken devices."

            In other words, anyone hiding behind the Jailbreaking is legal clause, is basically a pirate hiding behind a lame excuse. (OtherOS springs to mind here - nobody cared about it's removal because of it's function, they cared about it being taken away because it was a potential vector to getting free PS3 games...)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Good news for end users.

    As one of the key reasons that Android SALES of apps are lower, is because more often than not, there is a just as good (or better) version of said app, for free. So whilst iOS developers coming to android scratch their heads and wonder why the money isn't rolling in like it is on iOS(where you can put a pricetag on any old shit, and some mug will buy it), that simply doesn't cut it on Android. You need to offer something above and beyond what's already out there for free.

    Harsh but true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news for end users.

      Poweramp has been the #2 paid app on Google Play for ages now.

      However my music player was free and works great.

      You were saying something about mugs?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news for end users.

      I fail to see how discouraging developers from your platform is a good idea? Hmm I could spend a month or two developing my software/game for Android, where it will be pirated and I will have to move to a freemium model, or I could sell on iOS where I know people will buy and my software is protected.

      I think for now I will wait for Google to sort out their Play Store, their security, and see if the market matures thanks, whilst I make money where people buy stuff.

      Google are happy to see freemium/ad based models as let's remember they are primarily an ad publisher. They are not going to fix these problems, and basically hope the weight of the market will shove developers towards their model and platform.

      The big software houses will continue to churn out their brands on Android, with multiple sequels, and the freemium model may work for some, but the independents who produce good software will continue to stay away from a platform, as crossing your fingers and hoping for a bit of ad revenue, or that your software is not pirated seems like a costly business model.

      Being a fandroid and swallowing all Google tells you to love doesnt make it so.

      1. Daniel Palmer

        Re: Good news for end users.

        >I could spend a month or two developing my software/game for Android, where it will be pirated

        Did you spend even a moment looking at the market licensing stuff and proguard?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          no he didn't.

          nor did he investigate all the other anti piracy stuff that's been happening at Google with android of late.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        lol, but you have swallowed Apples load...

        Piracy on iOS is actuality higher than Android according to ShadowGun/Dead trigger devs

        I believe them more than some random person here that wants to continue to find excuses not to develop for the world's leading and open mobile platform.

  7. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    It will be an uphill struggle for Google

    Android is Freetard City. I wonder how many people coughed up for the paid version of Angry Birds Star Wars vis the free version?

    1. Mark .

      Re: It will be an uphill struggle for Google

      Yes it's so terrible that my platform has loads of top quality software for free, where as you pay for stuff. A struggle indeed.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Android vs iPhone

      Where to start... I pretty much disagree with every argument you've made here.

      iPhone owners are not "by definition" more affluent. iPhones are available on contract at the same price as Android, and that price goes as low as "Free". There may be a small core of affluent iPhoners, but they're no longer significant; and similarly, why discount the affluent users who've gone with Samsung's Galaxy S3?

      So, nobody can compete with iOS and Android? Why not? With a lot of free apps, and a userbase that swaps its handset every 24 months on average, there's precious little lock-in in Android, or iPhone. Also, Android isn't helping the second-tier makers to differentiate in the market: Samsung own the Android market, HTC pick a little around the edge, everyone else is barely breaking even. Nokia make more money selling $40 mobiles than Sony Ericsson do making Android smartphones - what exactly is keeping Sony on Android other than lack of any other options? The one thing that's clear about technology is that it is not a static market. Ask Motorola. Ask DEC. Ask Nokia. Ask IBM. Ask Apple, especially: they've were destroyed in PCs, and they've conquered in Mobile.

      Next, the "Android is open" nonsense. It isn't. The Android source is dumped in one big turd three or four times a year. You've no visibility of what's happening in the project until it has happened. That is not an open project, it's a closed project that publishes its sources (sometimes: Honeycomb was never published). Android uses Linux, but it isn't Linux.

      Finally, we get the "Nokia should make Android" nonsense. No, they shouldn't. Nokia have never led on hardware specs, and that's the Android market - people don't decide on Android phones for their design or usability - it's all specs. Nokia's strengths are in product desing, build and material quality, and using Android won't make these better, but it will show up that that they don't use the fastest silicon..

      1. IBM3270
        Big Brother

        Re: Android vs iPhone

        What makes me gag about 'Droid users is they rant on about Apple and MS platforms being walled gardens and restrictive whilst simultaneously looking forward to a day when those platforms are defunct and we all have to use Android on Samdung and become part of the great GooglePlex empire. 'Droids, here is the news: You're not members of some rebel army fighting the oppressive regimes in Cupertino and Redmond. Your phones far outsell both iOS and MS platforms. You're a mass market and as such are the real sheeple.

  9. Furbian
    Thumb Down

    Well I'm not contributing to that revenue ...

    Largely because I can't, unless I hand over a copy of my passport, to a company that's probably already leached my wi-fi details via their street view cars...

    However I found an alternative, Amazon's app store for Android, that works quite well, I can buy things from it, and best of all, a free app every day, some bad, but many very good ones. For Music I'll stick to iTunes, it just works well for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well I'm not contributing to that revenue ...

      Your loss then.

      The Amazon app store is total crap in comparison to Google's offering, the apps are limited and out of date, the music and books more costly.

      Still if it helps you sleep better at night, because you read some misguided information on the internet about Google Streetview cars collecting data from unprotected wifi points (in the same way that ANY wifi device would also collect that same data from an unprotected wifi spot), then carry on...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Retards are coming out of the woodwork!

        > collecting data from unprotected wifi points in the same way that ANY wifi device would also collect that same data from an unprotected wifi spot

        Wow "wifi" devices now have harddisks to which they dump snarfed packets. I never knew!

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Well I'm not contributing to that revenue ...

      I admire the tenacity of a guy trying to deal with a company that is dumber than Wheatley and is apparently still having "babby's first customer management experience". Google adwords level sad.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fandroids are a bunch of poo eating pirates. It's no wonder android is full of malware apps and freemium scams.

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