Android apps will generate more revenue than iOS this year, but only due to third-party app stores

This is a fun piece of news in the midst of all the Samsung smartphone craziness. App Annie, an app store analytics platform, is predicting that iOS will fall behind Android in revenue generated by mobile apps this year.

The estimate includes third-party app stores compatible with Android, like the Amazon App Store and Samsung's Galaxy Apps. The Google Play Store is expected to generate $42 billion, while Android's other third-party app stores will collectively earn $36 billion. Apple's iOS App Store will generate $60 billion.

When the Google Play Store is pitted solo against Apple's App Store, Apple comes out on top. It's expected to maintain this lead well into 2021 by $20 billion, despite the exponentially growing Android app market. At present, the largest app markets for Android are in China, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil.

You can read more about the app store forecast here.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • I think Android has been steady, although iOS has still claimed the bragging rights
  • Not sure what you mean.
  • "but only due to third-party app stores"? How about, "thanks to third-party app stores"? That's the whole strength of Android - it's not a walled garden. You might as well say, "Android has more active devices, but only due to third-party manufacturers."
  • Those third party app stores are more a security threat than a benefit. I can see why the title frames it as such.
  • Not true. The 2 mentionnés in the article are the Samsung Apps and Amazon Appstore. They are wroth very safe.
  • Are those the only two app stores outside of Google Play? No. There's Baidu, Xiaomi's, Aptoide, etc.
  • Of course not. But the article mentions those two as the main reasons. I'm just saying it's unfair to say they are all dangerous because they aren't google. Some are legit.
  • You can blame piracy and broke users for making Android take over 10 years to finally reach iOS in app revenue.
  • I'd say cheap, not broke. I know a lot of people with the latest Samsung, LG, HTC, etc device but won't spend money on apps unless they absolutely fall in love with it.
  • Yeah. Me. I have the V20. I won't buy apps just to buy apps. I change my phone every year for the best (in my opinion) but I rarely purchase apps unless I get a trial run or a free version and that version convinces me to pay. In my whole life, I've bought only 1 game without having any free versions to try first.
  • Anyone else shocked that the other app stores are almost on par with Google Play? Maybe they're tying purchases through Amazon's services? Like movie rentals and music downloads? Or maybe the Chinese app stores, which weren't mentioned here, are making a lot of that?
  • I've never spent a dime of my own money on apps. I spend Google's money. I'll soon breech receiving $100 through Google Opinion Rewards. Wish Apple had something similar for my wife's iPhone...
  • Cool story
  • Why are you so proud of being cheap? Doesn't make much sense to me. We're talking about a few bucks PER app maybe here.
  • Some people are really just frugal, to the highest degree.
  • How is this being cheap? Google Rewards is a great program. Use it often myself to buy Pro and premium versions of apps.
  • He's not proud of being cheap. He's proud of saving money. Wanting to save money isn't being cheap, it's called being responsible. What are you? 12?
  • A shame the amount of quality applications is still not even close to those on the iOS App Store
  • I know, right. I mean, just the number of high quality launcher apps on iOS alone puts Android to shame.
  • Your sarcastic retort would have worked better if you didn't use launchers as your backing. Launchers are in no way a definition of quality. Most of them are awful. Hell, apparently the only ones people use are GNL and Nova, the rest get downloaded once and forgotten. Apple's UI may not be aesthetically pleasing to some, but discombobulated tweaks do not help Android's favor on quality.
  • You seem very testy today. Why don't u download a meditation app and chill out.
  • I'm sorry, what?
  • Chill out.
  • I'm sorry, but this is simply not true anymore. I have both an iPhone 7+ and a Nexus 6P, and pretty much all the major apps are on both platforms and the general quality and functionality is very much on par*. You may not like that most apps on Android use material design nowadys, but that's more of taste thing. The only area where iOS still has a clear advantage is gaming. While titles from major publishers are arriving simultanously on both platforms, indie games still tend to appear first on iOS. *The Snapchat exception:
    Yes, we all know Snapchat's video quality on Android is not very good. You know it, I know it. even Snap, Inc knows it (they said they are working on it on their IPO application).
  • Not true. For example the Starbucks app. On iPhone I can reload my account with my fingerprint on Android I still have to enter my password.... There are many apps like this....
  • The quality is homogeneous on the App Store, But where is excellent applications? Eg. Android has SeriesGuide and iOS has many applications for tv and movie tracker which are incomplete. It's not the quantity, but the quality that matters
  • Doesn't really matter where they get the apps from. What this means is there is potential money to be made as a developer for Android, might be easier on the other side, but the cash is there. Sheer numbers suggest that.
  • Android application too many ads. One reason I use ios
  • Untii Google Play returns to China there's no way it's going to close the gap to the App Store. And, even then, it will have to face competition from local stores. As for the "but only due to third-party app stores" part, I dont see where's the problem in that, revenue is revenue. As long as the developers are getting paid for their work we, the consumers, only stand to gain from having choice.
  • While some may see this as a positive, I see it as a big negative. How in the world Apple who historically held 15-18% market shares beating Android 80-85% in revenue for a decade on? The kicker is revenue, not profits or payouts to developers. This shows how high the level of piracy is on Android and how few people actually pay for stuff on the platform.