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Apps and Oranges: Uncommon Comparisons of the Apple App Store vs. Google Play

What kind of smartphone do you have? Or, more specifically, is it an Android or iPhone? How do you feel about your phone’s app store?

In what has become one of the most epic showdowns in tech history, the battle between Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store rages on. Every new report and milestone reached triggers a flurry of new articles that pit one app marketplace against the other. Which OS is used more? What store has more downloads? Which market makes more money?

It turns out that Google Play has a whopping 74.4% of the app market share compared to only 18.2% for Apple’s App Store. The App Store, on the other hand, generates $5.1 million per day versus $1.1 million for Google Play. Even though both systems are gaining in revenue, the Apple App Store continues to outpace Google Play in growth outside the US. This revenue gap may close soon, though, as the percentage of revenue generated by new Android apps continues to grow!

While these may be the most important metrics to discuss, they aren’t necessarily the most entertaining. Let’s take a look at some more unconventional comparisons of the two dominant mobile marketplaces. In general, people are interested in the same types of app categories across both devices, like games, entertainment, and books. When it comes to finding apps, though, Google Play makes the process far easier, even with a few misspellings. What’s more, Google Play offers 29 different price points, allowing more monetization possibilities for developers, compared to Apple’s seven price points. Fancy app developers, though, should probably focus on producing good for the App Store, as it offers a $999.99 price limit per app compared to Google’s $200 limit. When it comes to security, 84% of users consider iOS more secure than Android, despite the fact that all iOS apps send unencrypted data, compared to 92% of Play apps. iOS apps are also generally more likely to track you – in fact, they track you 60% of the time – while only 42% of Android apps track users.

What’s the deciding factor for you between iOS and Android?

The battle between Google Play Store and App Store is like the epic battle that played out between Microsoft Windows and the Mac. While it was widely accepted that Mac was better product, it was Windows that was doing the sales. It is the same with this battle. Apple has the class appeal but Android has the mass appeal. The other reason why Apple fails with mass appeal is because it doesn't allow users and developers to tinker much with its products, which has become both its boon and its bane.
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