Android Marketplace Revenue Figures: Impressive Growth… or is it?

I have iPhone and iPad apps making a decent revenue, should I look into entering the Android Marketplace?

We’ve all been excited by Google’s Android growth over the last year, with the platform getting bigger then iOS globally. But what does that mean from an Apps business owner perspective?

First of all, the US Apps market represents the vast majority of the downloads. This pie chart comes from our AppFigures account…


Second: if you take the US market only, iOS, RIM and Android are pretty much at the same level (see this graph from Nielsen).

Smartphone OS Share Nielsen

The trend you can see there is that Android will dominate the market in 2011 replacing RIM, which will fade away. Apple will keep its market share.

These figures do not take in account the recently announced Nokia-Microsoft partnership to take Windows Phone 7 Phones to the “masses”. Nokia is still one of the strongest brands in Europe. In my understanding the brand never really took off in the US but still, they are just as relevant as Android in the global marketplace.

So if Android, RIM and iOS are all the same size, can we assume you can make pretty much the same amount of money out of each of them?

According to recent figures from UK-based research firm IHS, that is not the case.
In 2009 the global Apps market in all platform amounted to 828 millions of US dollars. Over 90% of that amount came from the iOS App Store. In 2010, the global Apps market has grown to over 2 billions of US dollars (that’s a 160% growth). About 80% of that amount came from the iOS App Store (with a 131% year-over-year growth).

All other app stores are pretty much aligned below 200 millions USD each (see the pie charts). Bottom line, while the Google Android market and Nokia Ovie Store have grown over 700% each, Apple’s App Store is still about 17.5 times more profitable.

global mobile apps share ranking by revenue 2009 2010

Surgeworks’ Divine Office and Prayer apps for iOS are our most successful apps on the iPhone and iPad App Store. These are both Universal apps. The Prayer app has been ranked in the top 10 for the Reference category in a few countries for most of the time in 2010, and is still in the top 50 notwithstanding a price raise we applied in the last couple of months.

The revenue we get from the apps is growing as the awareness of the Divine Office Ministry grows in the Catholic world, thanks to the added visibility gained through initiatives such as the 2011 Readers’ Choice award nomination, in which we are finalist in 4 different categories, and of corse also thanks to the App Store market size growth: the incredible success of the iOS platform since its launch in 2007 plays definitely an important part in our own apps growth.

The Divine Office global community, gathered around the website and our iOS and Mac Apps, have been asking for an Android app for some time now, and we are in the process of developing one. However, when it comes to porting other products to the new platform, we still have doubts on what the market reserves us in terms of Return of Investment (ROI) before we make the “big jump”.

If we take these figures as they are, then we should consider our revenue per app on Android to be 17.5 times lower then what we do today on iOS, possibly growing to reach what the iOS marketplace is today in 2-3 years, if it maintains the current pace.

Make your math :)