Apple App Store Doubles Google Play Revenue Despite Fewer Downloads: Here’s Why

HomeTech NewsApple App Store Doubles Google Play Revenue Despite Fewer Downloads: Here's Why


  • Apple App Store generated $24.6 billion in revenue in Q1 2024.
  • Google Play Store saw three times more downloads but only $11.2 billion in revenue.
  • iOS users tend to have higher disposable incomes, driving more in-app purchases.
  • App Store’s curation and quality control may lead to higher perceived app value.

Yes, when it comes to mobile app spending, there is a huge difference between the reigning giants; Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

The latest stats, sourced from Sensor Tower—an app analytics company, are quite revealing in terms of consumer spending across their respective platforms.

Recent figures show that the Google Play Store boasts three times more downloads than its Apple counterpart for the first quarter of 2024.

However, the App Store managed to rake in nearly double the revenue: a whopping $24.6 billion, compared to Play Store’s $11.2 billion haul.

The question is, why are iPhone users seemingly more inclined to part with their cash?

Potential Reasons for iOS Users Spending More

Image Credit: Sensortower
Apple App Store Doubles Google Play Revenue Despite Fewer Downloads: Image Credit: Sensortower

One possible reason may be the demographics and disposable income of the user base.

Apple devices are often seen as premium devices, indicating a more moneyed user base willing to spend on digital goodies.

Geographical differences in the price point of apps and user demographics between these countries may also be a factor.

The App Store’s curation process may be one of the reasons for the perceived app quality.

The Apple review process might have users perceiving better quality, leading to them attaching a higher value for each paid app relative to the open Play Store.

And here’s a possible reason for that.

The relative prevalence of subscription and freemium business models on each platform: iOS has seen more success on the freemium side of things due to the success of things like free with in-app purchase, but some apps on the App Store will never be sustainable without recurring revenues from a direct business model.

More Time on the Phones of Android Users

Google Play Store saw three times more downloads but only $11.2 billion in revenue
Google Play Store saw three times more downloads but only $11.2 billion in revenue

Perhaps even more interesting is, by some measures, the percentage of Android users spending money on games is higher than the percentage of iPhone users overall, which comes out to 65% and some unknown portion, respectively.

It may seem that a higher share of Play Store spending is accrued in a category with potentially lower ARPU compared to other app categories on the App Store.

For developers, understanding these spending disparities can be invaluable for revenue maximization strategies.

Focusing on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and catering to a potentially higher-income demographic on iOS could be a wise move.

However, the sheer user base of Google Play and the potential for well-executed freemium models with strategic ad placement should not be overlooked.


Why does the Apple App Store generate more revenue than Google Play Store despite fewer downloads?

The Apple App Store generates more revenue because iOS users generally have higher disposable incomes and are more willing to spend on apps and in-app purchases.

What are the primary reasons for higher spending by iOS users compared to Android users?

iOS users are often seen as more affluent, and the App Store’s stringent app curation process might lead to a higher perceived value of apps, encouraging more spending.

How does the business model of apps differ between the App Store and Google Play Store?

The App Store has more success with subscription and freemium models, where users may pay for premium features within free apps, while Google Play has a larger focus on ad-supported and freemium apps.

Does the higher number of downloads on Google Play Store translate to more spending?

No, despite having more downloads, Google Play Store users spend less overall compared to App Store users.

The spending patterns and user demographics significantly influence the revenue generated.

What strategies can app developers use to maximize revenue on both platforms?

Developers should focus on in-app purchases and subscriptions for iOS to cater to higher-income demographics.

On Google Play, well-executed freemium models with strategic ad placements can be effective given the larger user base.

Also Read: Google Play Store Encourages Subscription Purchase in India

Also Read: Questt Best app, ‘Apex Legends Mobile’ Top Game on Google Play Store in India

Also Read: Apple and Fortnite-Maker Epic Games Continue Legal Battle Over App Store Practices

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