Apple’s App Store generated more than double the revenue of Google’s Play Store in 2020

Apple’s App Store has once again captured the bulk of the revenue generated between the two major platforms, iOS (28.19% share) and the derivative Android (71.18%). This despite iOS share of the market standing at 28.19% vs. Android’s 71.88% as on November 2020 (StatCounter). (Ford’s share of the worldwide auto market is also far larger than BMW’s. 😏)

Apple’s App Store saw a whopping 68.4% of the spending, or $278.6 million, up 35.2% year-over-year. Google Play saw just $129 million in revenue, less than half of Apple’s and growing more slowly, up slightly more than 33% Y/Y.

Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store

Stephanie Chan for SensorTower:

2020 has been a record-setting year for worldwide spending on mobile apps and games, which passed $100 billion in a single year for the first time ever in November. This trend continued on Christmas, when consumers around the globe spent an estimated $407.6 million across Apple’s App Store and Google Play, according to preliminary Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. This figure represents 34.5 percent year-over-year growth from approximately $303 million in 2019, and is nearly 17 points higher than the growth experienced last year when spending grew 17.7 percent Y/Y.

The category that generated the most revenue outside of games on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s platform was Entertainment. On the App Store, Entertainment apps reached $19.3 million or 21.8 percent of all non-game spending. On Google Play, the category generated $4.3 million or 18.5 percent of all revenue generated.

Roblox was the top mobile game in the U.S., with consumer spending climbing 40.4 percent Y/Y from $4.7 million to $6.6 million this Christmas. Disney+ was the top non-game app for consumer spending, generating $2.6 million in the U.S., which was up 44.4 percent from $1.8 million in 2019.

MacDailyNews Take: Clearly the demographics of each platform are significantly different. The revenue discrepancy between Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, especially in light of the market share split between platforms, is just more proof atop a mountain of proof that those who settle for pretend iPhones do not pay for things:

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

See also: What we mean by ‘Hee Haw demographic’


  1. I use Android. It’s my primary system and how I get inspiration for all my art. It’s also how I send photos of nuuudes of myself to applecynic, we love to share

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