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Android has double the app downloads, but half the sales of Apple’s App Store

Google’s Android is once again storming further ahead of iPhone in terms of downloads, however Apple’s ecosystem is far from down and out for the count. New statistics show that despite having less than half the total downloads of its rival, iPhone users spend twice as much on the App Store.

Google’s Play Store has now reached 36 billion downloads in the first half of 2018, in comparison to the 15 billion downloads for Apple’s App Store. Android has been pulling further and further ahead of competition largely thanks to its cheap, and sometimes free ecosystem. This does create an oversaturation of questionable content, however, while Apple vet all applications on its store thoroughly, meaning less end up making it to the storefront.

To the contrary, Apple owners spent $22.6bn on applications in the first half of 2018, almost double that of Android users which only spent $11.8bn collectively across the Play Store, Amazon’s App Store and alternatives offered on the platform. Part of the reason for this is Play Store not being available in China, a market which accounts for 31.7 percent of Apple’s App Store income. Despite this, Apple would still be ahead of Android even without China’s contribution.

The numbers are believed to be distorted due to a number of other contributing factors, such as the ability to sideload applications onto Android meaning that most Play Store applications can often be pirated elsewhere. Apple also offers certain subscriptions to be added to the user’s phone bill, such as Netflix, while Google offers no such service.

Despite the disparity between the figures, Google has seen its Play Store generate 29.7 percent more revenue over the last 12 months, while Apple is slightly behind with a growth of 26.8 percent. It’s unlikely that Google will catch up any time soon, if ever, given that it is fragmenting its ecosystem even further by emphasising its Chrome OS for tablets moving forward.

KitGuru Says: It’s entirely possible that Google might end up revisiting how it approaches Android moving forward as a result of its recent record-breaking fine in the EU. But for now, it seems that the company is holding its own in terms of popularity, if not so much with revenue. How much do you spend on applications?  

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