Feature Article

January 08, 2014

Owners Spent $10 Billion in 2013 on iPhone and iPad Apps

For the first time, Apple has shared information concerning how much money users have spent on iOS applications. Last year, at this time, I wrote that almost 20 billion apps were downloaded for iPhones and iPads. A healthy chunk of that took place between Thanksgiving and Christmas day 2012.

At that time, Apple was only sharing how many apps were being downloaded. This year, Apple has taken the next step by informing us how much was spent on those apps. According to Apple, between January and November, iPhone and iPad owners spent more than $9 billion on apps and in-app purchases. Just the last month of the year alone saw these users spending $1 billion.

If we break this down a little further, we can determine that in December 2013 all iOS apps were generating about $32.3 million a day. This includes all apps, not just the top 200. The Apple figures show that throughout 2013 there was $8 billion of developer payouts. This relates to an average daily iOS app revenue of about $27.4 million.

Something that this shows us is that, as Apple claims, it provides the most lucrative platform for developers. This can also be noticed by the fact that all reports show that Android devices have a much larger market share than Apple devices. Android tablets are even beginning to wear away the iPad market. What is interesting is that while Android devices are outselling Apple devices, more people are spending money to download apps for their iPhones and iPads. There can only be one really reason for this. People like the iOS apps and are willing to spend money on them.

A possible reason for this is the fact that on a yearly basis there are several Android versions. That means that developers have to make modifications to have their apps running consistently on these various versions. Apple, on the other hand, pushes the latest iOS version and that means can focus on only one platform and therefore can produce stronger apps.

Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, said "The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014." He suggests keeping an eye on independent firms such as Duolingo, Simogo, Frogmind, Plain Vanilla, Atypical Games, Lemonista, Base and Savage Interactive as "developers to watch in 2014."

It will be interesting to see what develops this year. Applications analytics company Distimo claimed that the revenue gap between Apple's App Store and Android's Google Play store was narrowing. The estimation is that on a typical day in November, global revenue for the 200 top grossing iOS apps was more than $18 million. This compares to $12 million for the comparable selection on Google Play. The previous year’s comparison was $15 million and $3.5 million respectively. This does show that Android is making a big push forward.

Some of the most successful iOS apps for last year include Heads Up, Moves, Afterlight and Impossible Road, as well as other games Candy Crush Saga, Puzzle & Dragons, Minecraft, QuizUp and Clumsy Ninja. Apple also recognizes companies like Yahoo, Airbnb, OpenTable, Tumblr, Pinterest and American Airlines for updating their apps for iOS 7.




Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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