Thanks to China, iOS App Store revenue is now 80% higher than that of Google Play, according to the latest findings from analytics firm App Annie (via TechCrunch). The numbers reveal that China led all countries in absolute growth in the third quarter of this year versus the previous quarter in terms of both iOS app downloads and revenue. In terms of sheer app downloads though, Google Play still leads due to growth in emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia.
The Asian app economy is impacting both the iOS App Store and Google Play, but it’s pushing the two down different paths. In the third quarter, worldwide downloads were 90% higher on Google Play versus the iOS App Store, up from its earlier 85% lead in the prior quarter. This growth is being contributed to emerging markets like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, where sub-$50 smartphones are bringing more of the population online.
Interestingly though, App Annie advises developers to target new users at the lower-end of the market, catering to their differing needs, in order to stand out from the competition since these newly mobile users will not necessarily help the Google Play store’s revenue grow, given their economic status. The iOS App Store, on the other hand, may not have this many downloads but its revenue was 80% higher than Google Play in Q3, up from 70% in Q2, largely due to China.
The growth of iOS in China, says App Annie, is being driven across two fronts: social video apps and games. The former includes apps like the Dubsmash-like lip syncing app iCastShow and a Vine-like app called MiaoPai, both of which have been climbing the charts in Q3. In addition, the popularity of apps that users create shareable content for existing social networks also indicates China’s app ecosystem is maturing, noted the report.
It must be noted that China is not yet the top country by revenue on the iOS App Store, though it’s #1 for downloads. Instead, that title is still held by the U.S., and is followed by Japan.