Currently, there are over one million apps available across all app platforms, with 500,000 iOS apps and 320,000 Android apps. Android apps have doubled in 2011, and while the Android Market is getting closer and closer to the number of apps in the App Store, it is still lagging behind in terms of developer revenue.
A new report from app analytics firm Distimo reveals that the App Store generates six times more revenue than the Android Market when comparing the top 200 grossing titles of both app stores.
It is no wonder that more developers are choosing Apple’s platform over Android when developing new apps, and though Eric Schmidt says otherwise, it looks like Apple will remain the top dog in terms of revenue for quite some time
Over the course of 2011, the freemium business model and in-app purchases have become an important monetization strategy for developers, much to the chagrin of many of us dedicated gamers. One half of the revenue of the 200 top grossing apps in the App Store for iPhone comes from freemium apps, and 65 percent of the revenue of the top apps in the Android Market come from freemium purchases. The Android Market has become the largest store for free apps, passing the App Store in June of 2011. As of November, there are well over 200,000 free Android apps, while the number of free iOS apps falls just below 200,000.
Games are generally the largest category in app stores, generating the most downloads. There are over 100,000 games in Apple’s App Store, while the Android Market has less than 50,000. Amazon’s Appstore has only been live for five months, and it’s already passed the number of games in the Nokia Ovi Store and BlackBerry App World.
2011 is also the year that the United States ceased to be the most important country for apps. In January of 2011, when comparing the App Store in the U.S. to the App Store in China, only 18 percent of downloads came from China. As of November, China generated 30 percent of the combined total downloads. While the U.S. App Store is still generating more revenue, that could change in 2012.
Can you guess which app generated the most downloads world wide across all stores in 2011? Yes, none other than Rovio’s Angry Birds. Facebook is the runner up, while Skype came in third. Angry Birds Rio took the fourth spot, and Google maps followed in 5th place.
What will we see in 2012? We’re definitely going to see an increase in freemium apps, which has become the go-to model for generating revenue. China will become a highly important market and we may see more targeted apps, and iOS will continue to be more popular with developers. And of course, the ever-present Angry Birds will still be around.