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How Much Do Average Apps Make On Each Platform? (forbes.com/sites/tristanlouis)
57 points by YeahKIA on Aug 11, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments

I have a very popular app for iOS and Android. Both have the same functionality. These figures (5x more revenue on iOS) is pretty consistent with what I see. For many apps moving forward I am actually not creating Android versions as it is simply not worth the effort.

can you say which platform you released first on? or did you make it at the same time?

I'm quite surprised at that big of a revenue difference

I released on Android first.

Do you have same/similar number of installs on Android and iOS?


It seems very misleading to me to just calculate average revenue by "money paid/downloads". At least a while ago a popular model on Android was to publish the app free and make money with advertising. So the average payout per app is probably much higher.

Although I also suspect it follows a power law, so a few apps make lots of money and most apps make little to no money (on all platforms).

Oh sure, this is called working with the data you have.

You really want a survey of some folks who have released similar apps on multiple platforms, and to cover the development-cost and revenue sides, including in-app purchase and any ad revenue, if that's a substantial source for anyone.

Just comparing aggregates, it's hard to tell what differences are thanks to the platform and what's simply because "the average app" on Android is different from "the average app" on iOS (because of review, barriers to entry, etc.). And there's nothing about costs.

Much as I like Android, I bet iOS tends to be the better deal for paid-app developers right now. You have fewer devices to target and no equivalent of Android's Gingerbread situation. ("The Gingerbread Situation" is also a new punk band I'm forming, BTW.) And Apple customers seem to skew a little spendier, though maybe that's changing.

I think the average Apple user will continue to skew spendier, but the sheer number of Androids will mean that there is a portion of Android users who will spend as an iOS user would. And when the overall number of Androids is high enough, it could be so that even is 25% of Android customers were valuable against 75% of Apple's customers, Android being 5x the size means there are just as many (or more) "valuable" Android users than iPhone users.

I'm not sure about that. I spent >$1500 on Android phones, but less than $10 on apps. There are a lot of free/ad app equivalents for the paid apps - I did not need to buy anything. The only paid app I am regularly using is JuiceSSH for the port forwarding feature.

There are so many more 'Apple users' using iPhones than actual Apple users (OSX) these days and they're buying apps.

The big reason is Android has marketshare but some Android users don't buy Android because of Android, they buy it because it was a free phone or because it was the only thing they could get it.

You can't look at phone marketshare when simply determining potential app market.

Sure, quite possible over time; only talking about now. There'll probably be some consolidation of the Android handset market, or at least rough spec convergence, and Gingerbread will certainly fade out.

(Spekaing of Gingerbread, I kind of wonder if Google should show some more charts at http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html -- show share as a percent of download volume as well as device count. Because I bet those old and very-low-end phones on 2.3 are less actively used than their sheer numbers suggest. That is, I bet devs are safer ignoring Gingerbread than it looks ike.)

Simply averaging does not mean a lot. Does anyone have any stats which take into account the fact that 5% top apps get a lot more reveneues than the bottom 80%?

Agreed. A comparison of medians would be more interesting.

I can't speak to the iOS and Android numbers, but they are significantly off on the Windows Phone numbers.

MSFT just announced their WP downloads stand at 2 billion (a significant delta from the 0.65 billion estimated here) As for units sold, Nokia alone has sold 20 million Windows Phones or so, and there is another 20% of non-Nokia WP phones on top of that.

Nokia forms the majority of WP sales and boosters are the cheaper models like 520/21. A good quarter of the sales are pre-WP8 models.

Finally, Nokia sales in North America and US, is lagging behind other continents. That's maybe from an app sales perspective Nokia doesnot make a lot of bang!.

US is mainly an AppleLand, and app store app sales get huge boost from having a big portion of iPhone/iPad subscribers here.

Android is now more popular than iOS in the US, see "Smartphone Platform Market Share" http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2013/6/comSc...

Median value would have made sense here, not mean value.

Honestly, not even that. For android, the median is probably zero. If you were to plot apps and their revenues along a line, I would expect them to be fairly clustered around different points. You'd probably find highly polished, quality apps, in one cluster, and stuff that was thrown out in a single weekend in another. There will almost certainly also be clustering based on the category of the app.

How much you'd actually expect to make would depend on which cluster you were targeting.

Median and mode are both highly misleading numbers when you don't know what the shape of your distribution looks like.


This article is just ridiculous. FunFact: half of the revenue from the app stores go to the top 25 developers.


A similar ratio to most things in economics.

This would be useful if the distribution of downloads/app were a bell curve (meaning being "average" was actually common). I doubt it is.

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