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Google Play Surpasses the iTunes App Store

Posted on 8/15/2013 by
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Q2, 2013. Mark it on your calendars. Why? This past quarter was the quarter that Google Play’s total downloads finally surpassed the App Store, according to data gathered by App Annie. Don’t get too excited, though. Despite having 10% fewer downloads, the App Store still made more than double the revenue of Google Play. (We know which one we’d rather have!) Anyhow, let’s break down some of the background facts:

Downloads by country. As you might already know, activity is not limited to users in the U.S. Countries like South Korea, Russia, Brazil, and India also top the list for total Google Play downloads.

Revenue by country. The list changes a bit when we look at revenue, however. Google Play’s most profitable country is actually Japan, followed by South Korea, the U.S., Germany, and then the U.K.

App types. As always, users just want to have fun. Games lead the way, and account for approximately 80% of Google Play’s revenue. The second spot goes to communication apps (e.g. LINE, WeChat, WhatsApp Messenger, and Viber), and after that come tools, entertainment, and then social apps.

Devices. Growth in countries like Brazil is thought to be linked to new inexpensive devices offered by Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and LG.

What does this mean for businesses that offer their own apps and other mobile players? It signals the continuance of a shift from a totally Apple-dominated world to one in which Android has equal or more importance.

Multi-platform strategy

Because the mobile world is growing and changing rapidly, the best approach for small businesses that want to stay ahead of the game is to tackle multiple platforms at once. This means having an iPhone app, and Android app, and also a mobile website.

Each outlet has its benefits and drawbacks (for more on that, check out our infographic), but to maximize your mobile presence and to get your business in front of as many users as possible, you need to hit them all.

What do I need to know about the differences between Android and iOS?

Some info gathered by Bluebridge Digital is helpful, here. Android users are more likely to be men, and income skews lower and more rural. Users are more likely to be pessimists, savers, introverts, and followers. On the plus side, though, they’re a bit more likely to listen to a cold call pitch. They’re also willing to use something that is ugly, but more functional.

If you wanted to generalize, you might want to tailor your Android offering to a more practical, frugal mindset. To that end, delivering value through things like coupons and loyalty programs is probably a good strategy. But that’s only the beginning. We have a number of thoughts on the matter and are ready to help your business make the most of any mobile platform.