Smartphone App Face-off: Apple vs. Android

February 27th, 2013 by

Apple vs Android

Application markets are one of the first stops users make when outfitting a new smartphone. The markets play an important role in the success of the devices on which they run, and it is a factor in why the iOS and Android development platforms continue to dominate the market.

  • 1. Number of Apps
  • The amount of available product serves as an important metric for comparing software vendors, and Apple has been in the lead for the majority of the existence of the smartphone app market. In October of 2012 however, Android caught up to Apple at 700,000 apps available, and if the trend continues the company will achieve a very real victory over Apple.

    Verdict: Android

  • 2. Revenue
  • A market is all about making money, and Apple firmly dominates this sector of the competition with around four times the monthly revenue of Google Play. This might not be the case for long, though. The Q4 2012 numbers show Google Play’s revenue climbing almost 20% a month, while the Apple store is maintaining or dropping.For Android, the gap is not small and the lower return on investment, a ratio of 1 to 8 compared to Apple’s, for Android developers puts Apple firmly ahead in the financial department.

    Verdict: Apple

  • 3. Variety
  • The full list of measurements and facts you can use to compare the two markets could span volumes. Total market share of the respective platforms shows Android firmly in the lead, but the extreme difference and even competition points to it being a less powerful metric. The approval process the companies use for their apps has created more faith in the Apple store. The same approval process and various rules on app content has pushed developers to Google Play, which is likely a factor in the growing number of apps on the device.

    Verdict: Tie

    The Score
    The numbers and general feel of the market is that Google Play is progressing while Apple is trending downward however the rate is quite slow and could easily change. The shift is not by any means fast, but a steady progression is more likely to be an enduring one. It also bodes for a long period of conflict between the two companies, which can only mean good things for smartphone consumers.

    In the end, Apple’s much higher revenue and a hardly (relatively) smaller number of apps indicates that they win… Who really cares if Google has one gagillion poorly developed apps!?

    Winner: Apple

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