Apple App Store users spent nearly double that of Google Play users in Q417

“Smartphone adoption in emerging markets just delivered the highest number of app downloads Google Play has ever seen in a quarter,” Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch.

“According to today’s report from App Annie, Google Play app downloads topped 19 billion in Q4 2017, a new record,” Perez reports. “That also makes Google Play’s download lead over iOS its largest ever, at 145 percent.”

“Both platforms saw heavy in-app consumer spending in Q4 2017, as well,” Perez reports. “iOS, as is typical, led Google Play by a wide margin – nearly a 2x lead – with $11.5 billion in worldwide consumer spend in the quarter, the report found.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google gets roughly 2.5X more downloads, yet makes roughly half the money versus Apple.

Told ya this would be so, long ago, that this is all because iOS users are worth far more than Android settlers.

Android is pushed to users who are, in general:

a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar ($100 Gift Cards with Purchase) offers.

Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.

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.MacDailyNews, November 26, 2012

“All men are created equal.”

Well, not when it comes to users of smartphones and tablets…

The bottom line: Those who settle for Android devices are not equal to iOS users. The fact is that iOS users are worth significantly more than Android settlers to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers (speakers, cases, chargers, cables, etc.), vehicle makers, musicians, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on.

The quality of the customer matters. A lot.

Facile “analyses” that look only at market (unit) share, equating one Android settler to one iOS user, make a fatal error by incorrectly equating users of each platform one-to-one.

When it comes to mobile operating systems, all users are simply not equal.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 15, 2014

Apple’s iOS continues to attract content apps first, despite smaller unit share – October 30, 2017
Bernstein: Google to pay Apple $3 billion this year to remain the default search engine on iPhones and iPads – August 14, 2017
Higher income U.S. states use Apple iPhones; lower income states use Samsung Galaxy phones – September 27, 2016
iOS users are worth 10X more than those who settle for Android – July 27, 2016
Apple’s App Store revenue nearly double that of Google’s Android – April 20, 2016
Poor man’s iPhone: Android on the decline – February 26, 2015
Study: iPhone users are smarter and richer than those who settle for Android phones – January 22, 2015
Why Android users can’t have the nicest things – January 5, 2015
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
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
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Seems like that ‘gap’ is shrinking over time. Besides who really cares if both are profiting from App sales these days. The scale is so large any 3rd place competition is in the dust somewhere of these two.

    1. It does matter to a developer who’s going to spend time writing an app – needs to know where the biggest returns will come from.

      And you’re right the gap has shrunk, but gains are flatlining as the premium market becomes saturated, where, no doubt, most app sales are coming from.

      Also, it seems there’s a correlation of app download ratios with user base ratios… iOS at a little over 1 billion and Android probably above 2.5 billion users, which 2.5X. (This is based off Google’s own estimates from a year or so ago that had user bases at 2:1.)

      1. Yes, but without knowing the distribution of the payments, developers don’t really know which is the better platform for monetizing their App. For all we know it could be that 95% of Apple’s distributions go to only the top 2% of App developers in their store vs 60% for Google with the other 40% distributed more evenly across the rest of the developers in the Play Store.

  2. Availability of malware on the:

    Apple iOS App Store =
    Statistically 0% throughout its history. A few have snuck by Apple’s vetting process.

    Google Play Store for Android =
    “Kaspersky Lab detected more than 8.5 million malicious installation packages last year. Malware attacks on Androids also increased 50 percent.”

    Yes, Google has made attempts to better vet their Play Store. Yes, a lot of this malware only appeared at non-Play Store venues. And yet, there are reports of enormous infection rates on Android devices every month, if not week that only download from the Google Play Store. I wish better statistics were available. But from the above, anyone can clearly see the vast difference in safety between iOS devices and Android devices. That safety gap only grows worse over time.

    •Bravo Apple!
    • WTF Google!

    Google (thankfully IMHO) finds plentiful security flaws in other developer’s software. But they continue to significantly FAIL to stop the exploding growth in numbers of malware infections on Android devices using their own operating system. WTF indeed.

    1. And of course, This Week’s Android Malware Nightmare:

      Menacing Android botnet still thrives 16 months after coming to light
      “DressCode” poses a major risk, because it opens a direct connection to infected phones.

      In 2016, researchers uncovered a botnet that turned infected Android phones into covert listening posts that could siphon sensitive data out of protected networks. Google at the time said it removed the 400 Google Play apps that installed the malicious botnet code and took other, unspecified “necessary actions” to protect infected users.

      Now, roughly 16 months later, a hacker has provided evidence that the so-called DressCode botnet continues to flourish and may currently enslave as many as four million devices. The infections pose a significant risk because they cause phones to use the SOCKS protocol to open a direct connection to attacker servers. Attackers can then tunnel into home or corporate networks to which the phones belong in an attempt to steal router passwords and probe connected computers for vulnerabilities or unsecured data.

      Even worse, a programming interface that the attacker’s command and control server uses to establish the connection is unencrypted and requires no authentication, a weakness that allows other attackers to independently abuse the infected phones.

      Enjoy your Android. (0_o)

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