Apple iOS developers earn five times the revenue per download of Android developers

“During this past quarter, Google’s mobile phones made up four out every five shipped. Considering Apple came in a distant second with just under 13%, that is a staggering lead,” Mike Schuster reports for Minyanville.

MacDailyNews Take: Google “leads” only because Apple hasn’t entered this race. Apple does’t race to the bottom. Never have. Never will.

And, oh-by-the-way, they’re not “Google’s mobile phones.” Most of them have nothing whatsoever to do with Google.

“Then again, Apple is definitely no slouch when it comes to profits. Not only does Cupertino lead the industry in hardware profit margins, in-app purchases and developer revenue completely trounce that of Android’s offerings,” Schuster reports. “In terms of paid downloads and in-app purchases, Android slumps to $0.43 for every dollar on iOS. Taking paid downloads out of the equation, the gap is even wider: Android makes just $0.24 for in-app purchases compared to iOS’ $1.00.”

“Despite a pressing need for Android coders given the sheer number of devices for the platform, iOS developers earn more than five times the revenue per download than Android developers,” Schuster reports. “Clearly, iPhone and iPad users are more willing to part with their cash for an app than are Android users, making Apple’s mobile OS far more attractive to code for.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once more, in case you missed it, as we wrote in November 2012:

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.

Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the “Hee Haw” demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

Related articles:
Are Apple users are savvier shoppers? iOS devices account for disproportionate number of Black Friday searches – November 29, 2013
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009


  1. It should be obvious by now. iPhone is where the money is. Take this for example: Where would you build a pizza joint? In a high population area such as Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, or a small farm town no one has ever heard of? Choose wisely…

    1. Since I started fre+lancing I’ve been bringing in $90 /h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. Th℮ best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them… You can do it too. Start here———

    1. Short answer: no.

      Long answer: that is already taken into account in calculating the $ 0.26 vs. $ 1.00 ratio in the article. Individual Android owners spend a tiny fraction of the average spending by iOS owners. As the MDN take noted, very few of the Android devices out there are really Google smartphones. A lot of them are on third-world carriers that block access to Google services, including the App Store, in favor of the carrier’s offerings. Those folks couldn’t download an app if they wanted to. Others are on older versions of the software or have other features that make it hard to buy current apps. Others are on networks that don’t support high-speed and/or high-volume data; those users are basically restricted to voice calls and texting. Many bought the phone for just those two purposes. The only reason they have a smart phone is that it was the same price or cheaper than a basic or feature phone. All that explains the difference without insulting Hee Haw fans.

  2. Wall Street seems to make it as though every Android smartphone is a “Google” smartphone since Google claims those millions of Android activations every day as its own personal tally. Google always says THEIR platform is crushing iOS. Google flaunts those numbers as though it were them personally beating Apple into oblivion.

    It’s always shown as Android equals Google and therefore it’s Google’s Android platform against Apple’s iOS platform. Android is never shown to be broken down into many dozens of individual companies. Android is always played up to be some huge indivisible conglomerate force that’s choking off Apple’s business. Android is never shown to be one Android manufacturer fighting against another Android manufacturer. It is always shown as all Android manufacturers fighting as one against Apple’s iOS.

    Apple as one company is definitely being devalued on the basis of the entire Android platform selling more devices and it’s a very stupid and unfair comparison. Tim Cook needs to come out and explain this to the big investors that their perceptions are totally cockeyed. In reality there are no advantages whatsoever of the Android platform having the largest amount of market share. Maybe investors don’t quite understand this point. I’d say their great love for Google and Android is highly misplaced.

    1. Tim Cook DID explain in the last conference call that there exists two handset markets, the high-end and the mid to low- end. Moreover he said that these two segmented markets exist simultaneously in most every country, and it is a myth to view almost any whole country as being low end. Therefore, Apple’s pricing/quality-build strategy of choosing to play exclusively in the high-end segment is valid even in an emerging mobile phone markets in developing nations like China where, even though the per capita income is lower than, say, the U.S., one still finds a strong contingency of this high-end market available, just due to the overall population level and demographics. Remember, a carrier like China Mobile alone boasts 7 times the customers of a Verizon or ATT.

  3. The MDN take is spot on. It’s very hard in any media to sell ads where the users of the media don’t spend money on what’s being advertised. The ad prices end up heavily discounted.

  4. Most smaller iPhone developers (ie. not Facebook, etc.) will tell you that their iPhone version makes about 20x what their Android version does and takes about one tenth the time to maintain. It’s only a matter of time before these old habits die a hard death. I’m really surprised how many smaller developers still maintain an Android version. I guess they figure that most Android users don’t give a shit what an app looks like or how well it works – or doesn’t work.

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