According to the latest figures from App Annie‘s quarterly market reports, app downloads from the Google Play store outstripped downloads from the iOS App Store by around 60 percent in comparison to the same time last year.
Despite the increase in downloads from the Play Store, iOS downloads in Q3 2014 still generated more revenue than across Google Play – by about 60 percent again. One of the potential explanations for this trend could be the growth of Google Play downloads in developing and emerging markets, where users may be less likely to spend money on paid-for apps.
App Annie said that in Brazil, Indonesia and India, Google Play downloads continued to increase during the period – and that in Indonesia specifically, Google Play downloads have seen double-digit, quarter-on-quarter growth for more than two years, reflecting the growing middle class and an increased availability of 4G connectivity in the country.
The company also said that games still account for the majority of Google Play’s worldwide revenues and that there were “huge increases in earnings in the US and South Korea, where games were responsible for nearly all of Google Play’s Q3 revenue growth in each country”.
Most notably from the report, it also shows that communication and social networking apps continue to experience significant growth across both iOS and Android with Facebook Messenger leading the way.
“Facebook Messenger’s downloads jumped on both stores in late July following Facebook’s strategic decision to move all worldwide messaging functionality from Facebook to Facebook Messenger. Its downloads vaulted in August and increased yet again in September. Facebook’s action is in line with the trend of unbundling apps, similar to what Foursquare did with Swarm, in order to provide users with a streamlined, focused and improved experience,” the report says.
So, you may not have liked Foursquare or Facebook’s de-coupling of apps, but it seems to be a strategy that’s working for the companies involved.
India’s Hike Messenger app also contributed to the growth in the communication category on Google Play as the user base passed the 35 million mark – up from around 20 million in June and 5 million in April. The communication and social networking categories also saw revenue growth on Google Play and iOS, driven primarily by Line on both stores.
Update: The revenue figures are based solely on app store earnings, which doesn’t take into account potential ad income from apps on both iOS and Android.