Developers earn more cash from Apple’s App Store than from Google’s Android Market

In their May 2011 publication, Distimo reports, “It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model. We found that only two paid applications have been downloaded more than half a million times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date, while six paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone generate the same number of downloads within a two month timeframe in the United States alone.”

“Looking at just games, there are five paid games in Google Android Market with over 250,000 downloads worldwide,” Distimo reports. “In the Apple App Store for iPhone ten paid games generated more than 250,000 downloads in the United States alone in two months.”

“The refresh rate of top application charts is significantly higher in the Apple App Store for iPhone than in the Google Andoid Market,” Distimo reports. “During the month of April, there were 94 distinct applications with a top 10 (free or paid) position in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the US; there were only 26 distinct applications that reached a top 10 position in the Google Android Market.”

“Looking at paid applications in the Google Android Market, downloads are significantly lower than they are for free applications,” Distimo reports. “The percentage of all free applications that have been downloaded less than 100 times is 24.8%, and the percentage of paid applications that have been downloaded less than 100 times worldwide is 79.3%. These figures reveal how challenging it is for Android developers to monetize applications in the Google Android Market using a one-off fee monetization model. This may be one of the reasons why the majority of the applications are free in Google Android Market (in contrast to the Apple App Store, for example), and may also be why developers have turned to advertising to monetize their applications. Angry Birds is probably the best known example of this. All of the Angry Birds series in the Google Android Market are free and feature ads, while in the Apple App Store, these same applications are all paid applications with far fewer ads.”

Distimo reports, “It is interesting to note that paid applications have a higher chance to reach high download volumes in the Apple App Store for iPhone than in the Google Android Market.”

Distimo App Store report May 2011

Distimo’s full May 2011 report is available for free here.

[Attribution: Cult of Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]


  1. It is hard to see but the first bar is the iPad and the second is the iPhone. I guess that they did not want to list the iPod touch because it would crush their spirits to much.

    Sad. Very sad. But they keep trying!

  2. Everyone’s a winner except for the developers and the consumers on the &droid platform. Google really doesn’t want the native Apps to surpass its web Apps. The &droid future is more a Chromatic future, which is in the clouds, where you’re ever increasingly nudged to store all your personal info, with a rope around your neck. Lovely vision that.

  3. This is STUPID. The chart shows the “total number of distinct apps” in the “top 10” and “top 300” free/paid apps. How stupid is that? It makes absolutely no sense. I hate it when liberal arts majors are allowed to do infographics.

  4. There is an error in the article’s statement regarding Angry Birds. The App Store offers BOTH free and paid versions of the games. The free versions have more ads and fewer levels.
    But that figure of 79.3% of paid Android apps having fewer than 100 downloads – THAT tells the whole story!

  5. Not news MDN. It would be “news” if Android, RIM or WinPhone applications made more money. But this is just a simple common fact. Like reporting that water is wet or that Lady Gaga sucks.

  6. And *this* is the anomaly of Android that makes it *not* the Windows of the mobile world.

    Android is “open,” so sayeth the idiots who equate open to free. So, therefore, all the customers who buy Android — who have been told it’s more “open” than Apple — are expecting FREE stuff. If I were a mobile developer, that would NOT be my target audience.

  7. Android users don’t like to pay for sh*t. In other news, water is wet. Film at 11.

    C’mon… Everyone knows Android users are comprised of three major groups: those who settle for Android because their carrier doesn’t offer the iPhone, those who want a “smartphone” without really understanding what one is, and
    L33T hackstar freetards who think Android is the bomb because it’s all free and sh*t FIGHT TEH POWAR!!1

    The first two groups are unlikely to spend money on apps for their phone because they’re not excited about their phone. As long as it browses the web, they’re cool. The third group will never spend money on apps because they will never support the CORPOARATE OVERLOARDS FIGHT TEH POWAR!!!@!3213!!!

    So Android apps aren’t making money. Well, duh.


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