The total number of downloads from the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store will likely be surpassed in the next few months by Google Play, and while the iPhone maker still has the advantage in total revenue, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is quickly gaining ground. This is largely due to the sheer number of Android devices being sold: Google reported 900 million activations of devices running the company’s Android operating system in May, as opposed to about 600 million activations of iOS devices from Apple.
Apple announced last month that 50 billion apps had been downloaded for devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Google announced that they were at about 48 billion during their annual I/O conference, with 2 billion downloads a month versus about 1.8 billion from Apple. Barring an unforeseen and dramatic change of events, Google will overtake Apple in sheer number of downloads sometime in the next few months.
Apple still rakes in the lion’s share of cash when it comes to apps. In the last six months Google has moved from 19 percent to 27 percent of revenue versus Apple’s 73 percent, according to a comparison of the two from Distimo, a provider of app store analytics.
The report shows the top 200 grossing applications in the U.S. generating a daily revenue of $5.1 million on the Apple App Store in April, compared to only $1.1 million on Google Play. However, not all apps are generating more revenue on Apple devices such as the iPhone, as Mobage’s game Blood Brothers generated $1.8 million in April while 61 percent of proceeds came from Android devices via Google Play.
Some apps are making more money on Google Play. Square Enix’s re-release of Final Fantasy III only generated $120,000 in April, but 73 percent of this revenue came from Google. It is important to note, however, that Final Fantasy III supports and is promoted by the Android-based Ouya game console, which was also released in April. Most apps, however, have generated more revenue with Apple; Electronic Arts game The Simpsons: Tapped Out grossed 79 percent of its $4.8 million on the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's App Store.
Much of Google’s increase in downloads comes from Japanese and South Korean markets, according to the report. Distimo said in March that most revenue is generated from consumers’ in-app purchases versus paying for the app itself, and revenue on iOS is about evenly split between the iPhone and the iPad.
In related news, Twitter has released an Android version of the popular video looping app Vine. Click here to read Ryan W. Neal's coverage.