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24 Dec 12 Apple’s App Store Outperforms Google Play in Revenue

Google’s app store outperformed the sales growth of Apple’s App Store over the past several months, but the latter still generates the most revenue, as well as profit.

During the last four months, the Google Play store for Android enjoyed a daily sales jump of 43 percent across 20 countries, according to figures measured by analytics provider Distimo.

Comparatively, sales growth for Apple’s App Store increased by 21 percent on a daily basis. However, during January, the App Store’s daily sales growth stood at 51 percent.

That said, daily revenue values in the App Store were already considerably higher than the revenue generated by Google Play. Distimo said that on an average day in November, the sales in the App Store surpassed $15 million. Google Play, meanwhile, settled for just under $3.5 million.

The United States was the largest market for overall app sales in 2012, which was followed by Japan, the UK and Australia. Google Play in particular saw the U.S. and Japan being the two largest regions for sales, followed by Korea.

Distimo added that a large number of apps available at both the App Store and Google Play made it increasingly difficult for users to discover new apps, subsequently hurting developers aiming to become successful commercially.

In November, seven apps accounted for 10 percent of all sales for the App Store for the iPhone, which was 11 apps back in January. 31 apps generated 10 percent of all free apps downloaded.

Ultimately, Android’s revenue for apps has risen by 311 percent since January and 17.9 percent in November. However, iOS apps are four times more profitable than its rival.


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22 Dec 12 Apple App Store vs Google Play: trends and statistics

google vs apple app store

Distimo, an app market data and analytics company, has released a very interesting report into this year’s performance of the Apple App Store and Google Play. They’ve collected a ton of data on various aspects of each store: total revenue, the most popular download types, rate of growth, and a load of other stuff. So, let’s break down their report and look at some of the really interesting points.

Just how big is the app market?

According to the report there are now over 700,000 different applications available across both the Apple and Google platforms, and with the total market estimated to be worth around $22 billion we can safely assume that it’s a pretty huge market. It appears to be growing pretty quickly too, with the increasing adoption of tablets over traditional PCs, more and more users are getting their applications from app stores rather than traditional retailers.

The United States is still the largest market, followed by Japan, the UK and Australia. Google Play appears to be doing exceptionally well in Japan, where it sells almost as many apps as it does in the US, and it’s also doing incredible well in South Korea.

What are the most popular apps?

Distimo have collected the total number of app sales into various categories. We can see that gaming is by far the most popular, in terms of downloads, and generates the most revenue out of all the different app types.

google vs apple revenue by category

This isn’t really surprising when you consider the popularity of games like Draw Something or Grand Theft Auto. In fact, you can even check for yourself — if you browse the highest grossing apps on Google Play, the entire list is pretty much full of games. Widgets and entertainment are the second largest categories, with news being one of the smallest.

The trend seems to be that most apps are moving towards in-app purchasing, such as games that are free to play but let you buy upgrades. 69% of all apps generated their revenue from these types of transactions in 2012. Interestingly though, 35% of the revenue from the top 10 publishers was made by up front, one off fees, so in-app purchases don’t necessarily appear to be the most profitable way of generating revenue.

Who makes the most money?

Well, Apple definitely win this round; they more than quadruple the average daily revenue of the Google Play store. On an average day in November this year, the Apple App Store managed to pull in $15 Million, while Google Play only managed an average daily revenue of $3.5 Million. Those are still quite astonishing daily figures, but Google appears to be quite a long way behind its rival.

It also appears that Google Play is the slightly more expensive of the two. Perhaps lower prices on the Play store would encourage more customers to part with their money.

However when you look at the growth figures, over the past 4 months (August to November) Google grew at a rate of 43% in the world’s 20 largest counties, where as the Apple App Store only managed a 21% growth over the same period. When we look at the whole year, it appears that Apple managed growth of 51%, but sadly Distimo doesn’t have any figures to compare this figure against for Google.

When we look at growth on a region by region basis, the two platforms are showing slightly differently growth rates among their top five countries.

google vs apple region growth

It is worth noting that the US doesn’t appear in the top five growing regions for either Apple or Google, suggesting that the market is already much more saturated compared with Europe and Asia.

And the winner is?

It looks pretty clear that Apple is still the current market leader in terms of the overall app market, and it still has some very strong growth figures to back up their already impressive market share. But, as has always been the case with Android, the competition is catching up.

There are also still a few things to consider for the future. Firstly, given that the adoption of Android is growing rapidly, thanks in part to Samsung’s huge install base, this will no doubt trickle into Google’s share of the app market in the coming year. There’s also the tablet market to think about. Apple had a big head start with the iPad, and Android devices have only recently seen popular adoption by regular consumers.

Time will tell whether Google Play will ever match up to Apple’s revenue generating ability. From the stats it looks like Google has a lot of catching up to do, but with an ever growing install base it wouldn’t surprise me if we see even more impressive growth figures come the end of 2013.


google-play-store-apple-apps-garageband-imovie-iphoto-keynote-numbers-pages Fake Apple apps hit the Google Play Store: iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand and iWork suite Book Store Google Play Books and Movies now available in Russia, a week after Apple iTunes store launch apple-android 25 app developers take home 50% revenue from total App Store and Play Store sales, study says 2012-october-monthly-store-revenues-app-store-google-play-store Google Play revenue up 311%, but still four times less than Apple’s App Store

Long time Android user and supporter of anything open-source, Robert is a BSc graduate with an enduring fascination for technology. Glued to his Galaxy S2 there’s very little tech news which slips past him unnoticed.

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21 Dec 12 Google Play growing faster than Apple’s App Store: Report

Google’s online Play shop of applications for Android-powered
smartphones or tablets is growing fast, a report released Thursday by
market tracker Distimo said.

The aggregate daily revenue at Google
Play shops across the 20 largest countries where they are available
climbed 43 percent during the past four months, while sales at Apple’s
online App Store increased 21 percent.

“Google Play is just
starting to rival the Apple App Store in a few countries on a worldwide
scale, even though it is still losing in terms of daily revenues,”
Distimo said in the report.

Apple’s App Store catering to its
iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices took in more than $15 million
dollars a day in November, while daily revenue at Google Play was just
shy of $3.5 million, according to Distimo.

“There were many
success stories in 2012 about applications that became very successful
in a matter of a few days and gathered millions of downloads and
revenues,” the analytics firm said in the report.

“Looking at the worldwide daily download and revenue volumes, the opportunity is really huge.”

game application “Draw Something” reached a million users in just nine
days, while Asian publisher Naver launched five games in November that
quickly became hits.

Naver game application Line Pop was downloaded 1.75 million times within three days of its release, according to Distimo.

report released this month by research firm IDC projected that Android
operating system will power more than two-thirds of smartphones sold
worldwide in 2012, and will remain the dominant platform for at least
the next four years.

IDC also boosted its forecast for global
tablet sales for 2012 to 122.3 million, from 117.1 million, in large
part due to demand for Android tablets and the new iPad mini.

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21 Dec 12 Apple’s App Store vs. Google Play: Where they stand

Both now boast more than 700,000 apps, but Apple’s store generates 4.3 times more cash

Source: Distimo

Source: Distimo

FORTUNE — Manufacturers on Google’s (GOOG) Android platform may be selling more devices, but Apple’s (AAPL) App Store is still the best place to be for developers trying to make a living.

That’s the bottom line in the year-end review published Friday by Distimo, a Dutch analytics company:

“On a typical day in November 2012, the revenues in the Apple App Store exceeded $15M USD, while in Google Play the revenues are just below $3.5M USD in 20 of the largest countries in both app stores.”

And although Google Play seems to be catching up — its revenue grew an aggregated 43% in the past four months compared with Apple’s 21% — it still has a long way to go. Looking back to January 2012, the App Store’s daily revenue grew an estimated 51% (split 71% for the iPad and 40% for the iPhone).

The report is packed with surprising details. For example:

  • Countries with fastest app revenue growth: Russia leads the world on the iPad (up 143%), Japan leads on the iPhone (+138%) and Korea in Google Play (+94%)
  • Fastest growing apps: It took AOL (AOL) nine years and Facebook (FB) nine months to hit the 1 million user mark. The mobile app Draw Something did it in nine days; Line Pop did it in three — and within 12 days had generated an estimated $1 million in revenue.
  • Fewer winners take home more: In January 2012, 11 apps accounted for 10% of the revenues on the App Store. By November, that number was down to 7.
  • The average selling price varies by platform: It’s down 8% since January on the iPad and up 16% on the iPhone. Google Play apps, on average, are more expensive. Navigation apps, on average, cost the most.
  • In-app purchases vs. one-off sales: Revenue from in-app purchases continued to grow in 2012 — from 53% in January on the App Store to 69% in November — but one-off sales still generated 35% of the revenue among the top 10 money makers on Apple’s iOS.
  • The big money is in the game market: See chart below.

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 7.02.27 AM

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21 Dec 12 Google Play growing fast: survey

AFP – Google’s online Play shop of applications for Android-powered smartphones or tablets is growing fast, a report released Thursday by market tracker Distimo said.

The aggregate daily revenue at Google Play shops across the 20 largest countries where they are available climbed 43 percent during the past four months, while sales at Apple’s online App Store increased 21 percent.

“Google Play is just starting to rival the Apple App Store in a few countries on a worldwide scale, even though it is still losing in terms of daily revenues,” Distimo said in the report.

Apple’s App Store catering to its iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices took in more than $15 million dollars a day in November, while daily revenue at Google Play was just shy of $3.5 million, according to Distimo.

“There were many success stories in 2012 about applications that became very successful in a matter of a few days and gathered millions of downloads and revenues,” the analytics firm said in the report.

“Looking at the worldwide daily download and revenue volumes, the opportunity is really huge.”

Smartphone game application “Draw Something” reached a million users in just nine days, while Asian publisher Naver launched five games in November that quickly became hits.

Naver game application Line Pop was downloaded 1.75 million times within three days of its release, according to Distimo.

A report released this month by research firm IDC projected that Android operating system will power more than two-thirds of smartphones sold worldwide in 2012, and will remain the dominant platform for at least the next four years.

IDC also boosted its forecast for global tablet sales for 2012 to 122.3 million, from 117.1 million, in large part due to demand for Android tablets and the new iPad mini.

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21 Dec 12 Apple App Store vs. Google Play Store: Which made more money in 2012?


A new study has drawn comparisons between the revenue made by Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems are undoubtedly the most popular mobile platforms, and a new report has compared both app stores to see which one raked in more cash this year.

While Google’s online app store is showing rapid growth, Apple’s marketplace more than doubled these profits. According to app analytics firm Distimo, the Google Play Store’s combined daily revenue has grown by 43 percent. Apple’s, in contrast, only grew by 21 percent. In terms of growth over the entire year, Apple’s App Store has seen an increase 51 percent in the 20 nations analyzed by Distimo. This includes Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and the US.

When it comes down to it, although Google’s store showed the most growth with its combined daily revenue, Apple smoked its competitor. The App Store earned $15 million in average daily revenue in November while the Google Play store only reached $3.5 million. Apple’s success can be largely attributed to in-app payments, seeing as this accounted for 69 percent of its overall revenues. This number is up by 16 percent compared to January 2012, the report said.

This surge of in-app purchases has caused app prices to slump down by 8 percent compared to last January for Apple’s iPad. However, as of last month, app prices were up by 16 percent for the iPhone, according to Distimo. The analytics firm noted that some app publishers are still seeing great success using a paid-only strategy, and this year 35 percent of revenue from the top 10 publishers resulted from one-off fees.

Despite the iPhone’s popularity, Android dominates an overwhelming portion of the smartphone market share. This is why it comes as no surprise that Apple’s iPad accounted for most of the iOS platform’s revenue growth. Daily revenues for the iPhone increased by 40 percent, while apps for the iPad saw a 71 percent jump.

Instagram placed as number one on Distimo’s list of the top 10 apps for Apple’s App Store, while Street View took this number one spot for Google’s Play store. Other runner ups for both platforms included Facebook, YouTube and Gmail. 

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15 Dec 12 iPhone or Android? The Case for Each – Digits – WSJ

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Among the smartphones available today, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5 sit at the top of many wish lists.

Both of them are the best-available iPhone and Android phone, respectively. But how do you choose whether to buy an Android smartphone or an iPhone?

The truth is, the differences aren’t all that significant, short of access to a few applications per device. You’ll find the mission-critical apps like Facebook and Google Maps on both. Case-in-point: Google held a major advantage on Android with a superior Maps application, but that was released for the iPhone just yesterday. When it comes to major apps, the line between Android and iPhone is starting to blur rapidly.

When deciding on which smartphone to buy, be sure to check out the Digits guide to picking a smartphone. As earlier indicated, the most important choice initially is your carrier, which will determine the availability of certain smartphones. That being said, there’s a healthy availability of Android smartphones and iPhones on most major carriers.

While the operating systems are similar, there are some differences, and it’s important to know the most significant ones when picking an ecosystem. Once you select a platform and start buying apps, you are more or less locked in — meaning switching from iPhone to Android will require you to purchase apps again in the Google Play store, and vise versa for the Apple App store.

Here are some of the biggest differences between the two. Choose wisely:


The biggest advantage the iPhone has over Android phones is its massive app ecosystem. It was the first major App Store, and as a result most developers will opt to build their applications for the iPhone before any device. For example, Instagram was available only on the iPhone for a very long time, and Facebook redesigned its app for the iPhone before finally upgrading the Android application. Apple said during its last earnings presentation that it had more than 700,000 apps on the App Store.

The iPhone has very deep integration with Twitter and Facebook, making it easy to post status updates to either from directly within the operating system without having to dig too deep into the customization of the app.

Apple also has some iPhone-specific apps, like Passbook — which a lot of major app developers, like mobile payments company Square, have chosen to support — that removes day-to-day annoyances like carrying around gift certificates and boarding passes. It takes some time to set up and is still limited for now, but the upside is huge.

Most importantly, the user experience is locked down. That means there isn’t a lot of significant modification you can make to the experience, such as changing the keyboard. But for the non-tech savvy crowd or those not looking for a lot of customization, this can be a plus, because Apple does know what it’s doing when it comes to user experience. You will know exactly what you are getting.


The first thing you will notice when shopping for an Android smartphone is the massive hardware selection. It can be daunting, given that there are many major smartphone manufacturers, and all of them have an exceptionally good Android smartphone. The go-to options will be the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4, depending on your situation, but there is a wide array of cheaper Android phones (check out our guide to picking a smartphone for the best option).

In addition, Android phones are highly customizable. For example, one of the top apps on the Google Play app store is an app called SwiftKey, which modifies your Android smartphone’s keyboard, making it easier to type by predicting your next word after synchronizing with your Google and Facebook accounts among others. The possibilities of tweaking the Android ecosystem are nearly endless.

You’ll also find unique apps you won’t find on the Apple App Store. While the converse is true for the Apple App Store because many developers consider it a first option, but realistically Apple will likely not approve a lot of the more fringe-level apps on the Google Play store: For example, SwiftKey, or apps that emulate older gaming consoles. It gives your Android smartphone a little more functionality at the cost of being more complicated.

Google’s app store has also caught up to Apple’s in size. In October, Google Play said it also had more than 700,000 apps.

The user experience will be more varied depending on the smartphone you pick, as most major manufacturers have their own custom skin on the device. For example, the Nexus 4 is a stripped-down pure Android experience managed by Google, while the Samsung Galaxy S III has some Samsung flair to it.

That being said, because of the massive number of phones and proliferation of technology, apps likely won’t come to Android devices first if they aren’t launching at the same time on the Apple App Store. It will also take some time to learn your way around an Android smartphone, because of how deep the customization options are.

Everything Else

The two other major smartphone platforms — Windows Phone and BlackBerry — also have individual perks, but realistically it is too early to call whether they will be successful because they haven’t reached the level of app proliferation of Android smartphones and the iPhone. You can check out the Digits guide to smartphones for the individual advantages of those two platforms, but in short, the best option might be to hold off on buying these phones.

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11 Jun 12 iOS v Android: why Schmidt was wrong and developers still start on Apple

As Apple prepares for a full week in which it will fete and educate the developers who write apps for the iPhone and iPad (and also its Mac computers) at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco – and with Google preparing to do the same for those writing Android apps at its I/O event on 27 June – the question many are asking is: if Android phones outsell iPhones, why do developers still prefer to write for Apple first?

It wasn’t expected to be this way. Speaking at the LeWeb conference on 7 December 2011, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt was in ebullient form as he considered the success of Google’s Android mobile operating system. “Android is ahead of the iPhone now,” he told the audience of techies and entrepreneurs. Ahead in terms of the number of phones, the quality of the software, the lower price, and having more companies making devices that used it, he said.

He also had some predictions: “Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favoured by the open approach Google is taking,” he said. “There are so many manufacturers working so hard to distribute Android phones globally that whether you like ICS [Ice Cream Sandwich, the name for version 4.0 of Android, released in October] or not… you will want to develop for that platform, and perhaps even first.”

When one Android user told Schmidt it was frustrating to see iPhone and iPad – known as “iOS” – versions of apps coming to market before the Android one, Schmidt said that in part because of the new software, “my prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite”. That is, that Android versions of particular products would be written before the iOS ones.

Calendar time

Six months later, there are few signs of that happening. Instead, even while the number of Android phones in use has continued to grow steadily, to more than 300m, and with Android phones making more than 50% of the 150m-odd smartphones sold worldwide every quarter, developers still look to Apple’s platform first.

It’s not initially obvious why. A huge number of apps are being launched on Android. Analytics firm Distimo, which tracks the various app stores, reckons that in the first four months of 2012 more than 100,000 apps were added to the Google Play store, versus 63,000 for Apple’s App Store. Microsoft’s Marketplace, for Windows Phone, and BlackBerry’s official stores added 35,000 and 22,000 respectively in the same period.

But follow the money – a big factor for the important developers, who can easily spend thousands writing a new app – and it’s a different story. Distimo and analyst firm CCS Insight launched their App Vu Global service in early April 2012, tracking downloads and revenues from the app stores. Its initial findings claimed that Apple’s App Store is generating $5.4m every day in app sales for the top 200 grossing iPhone and iPad apps. For Google Play, their estimate was just $679,000 for the top 200 grossing apps on Google Play, or about 12% of Apple’s revenue.

Another mobile app-tracking service, Flurry, noted on 7 June that “For every ten apps that developers build, roughly seven are for iOS.” Though the total volume of apps being developed has doubled – from over 9,000 in the first quarter of 2011 to more than 18,000 in the second quarter of 2012 – that 7:3 ratio in Apple’s favour has remained consistent.

Part of that has been because iPhone users have shown themselves willing to pay for apps in a way that Android users so far have not. In January 2012, Apple said that since 2008, when its App Store opened, developers had been paid a total of $4bn, of which more than $700m was paid in the last quarter of 2011 alone. Google hasn’t given a comparable figure, though Horace Dediu, who runs the Asymco consultancy, puts the figure for Google’s total app sales in 2011 at $300m – meaning developers would get $210m in total.

In March 2012, Flurry crunched data from developers using its tracking tools in their apps, and claimed that given the same number of users per platform, a developer who got $1 on the iTunes App Store would get $0.23 from Google Play.

Nine-year headstart in credit cards

That’s a key pointer to why developers don’t look to Android first. Some cases are simple examples of what economists call “opportunity cost”. Dave Addey is managing director of Agant, a British software developer which has written, among others, the Train Times app which costs £4.99 on the iPhone, and uses National Rail data to offer real-time data feeds, plan journeys and show timetables. “We still prioritise iOS,” he says. “Because it’s the main platform on which people will pay for an app. We haven’t done Android apps for business reasons. It comes down to this: do you port [translate] to Android, or do you develop another app for iOS? In the end, iOS is the better business case. Apple’s greatest trick has been making it really easy to pay for apps. Once you have your iTunes account, you just enter a password.” Google is trying to emulate that by encouraging people to add a credit card when they first set up a phone; but it is coming from a long way behind Apple, which started its iTunes Music Store selling music online in 2003, and is now one of the web’s biggest five holders of credit card details, along with Amazon, eBay and PayPal.

Addey points to the problems encountered by Imangi Studios, developer of the hugely popular Temple Run game – in which you are pursued along stone-lined routes by fast-moving unseen monsters – when it ported the app to Android, releasing it at the end of March.

It was a huge success in terms of downloads, hitting 5m in about 10 days. But Imangi Studios – a husband-and-wife team, plus a designer – soon discovered that Schmidt’s promise of Android being ahead in the number of phones and manufacturers was only too true. Despite writing it to run on 707 Android devices, they said that 99% of the emails requesting support were actually complaints that it wouldn’t run on the user’s particular phone model or version of Android. They were pilloried on Facebook, despite having what would be regarded by anyone as a successful release.

Breaking up is easy

Those subtle differences between devices are known in the industry as “fragmentation”. While Apple does have some fragmentation – there are seven models of iPhone, three different iPads and four of the non-phone iPod Touch – they pale into insignificance compared to Android’s, where OpenSignals, which provides a network coverage app, recently found 1,363 device models running Android, from 599 different brands – though Samsung dominates with about 40% of the market.

Opensignals Android fragmentation
Android fragmentation, as perceived by OpenSignals based on devices downloading its Android app. Click for original post.

“It’s a problem, especially for testing your app,” says Agant’s Addey. “You need to get a representative set of [Android] handsets so you can try it out. But that makes it hard to create a best-of-breed app because of the fragmentation, and because people are less likely to have the latest version of the [Android] software. You have to build to the lowest common denominator, rather than using the latest features.” Google’s statistics to the beginning of June say that just 7.1% of phones actively using its Google Play app market run version 4.0, or “Ice Cream Sandwich”. The most-used version is 2.3, or “Gingerbread”, released in December 2010, running on 65%; in total, 84.1% of devices using Google Play run Android version 2.3 or 2.2, dating back to June 2010.

Google Play access by devices
Google Play: proportion of devices running different versions of Android accessing within 14-day period, since January 2010. Source: Google

By contrast, although Apple’s oldest handset on sale – the iPhone 3GS – dates to June 2009, before Android 2.2, it can run the latest version of iOS – so app developers can target apps at features it includes, confident the majority of users will be able to run them.

And iPhone users definitely do update. Addey points to data for the UK Train Times app, which is available for every iPhone and iPod Touch ever made. The latest version of iOS, v5, was released in October 2011: Addey saw the proportion of devices using the preceding version, iOS 4, drop dramatically – while the proportion using iOS 5 leapt.

Update fever

iOS versions accessing traintimes app
iOS versions accessing UK Train Times app feed, by time. Source: Agant. Click for larger version with longer time series

Now, just under nine months since iOS 5′s release, 86.2% of devices using the Train Times app run iOS 5, 12% use iOS 4, and just 1.7% use iOS 3 (released in 2009). Other developers put the proportion of iOS 5 users at 75% – lower, but still overwhelming.

“Compare this to the 7.1% uptake of Android 4.0, and it’s pretty easy to see why we develop new apps for iOS first,” Addey says. “Apple is constantly pushing its users and developers to be running the latest versions.” He says Agant has tended to focus on bigger apps, “because we know we can support the latest features from Apple.” The team’s latest product is a World War 2 app for the iPad which includes a day-by-day timeline that interacts with a map, Pathe newsreel videos, and commentary by the historian Dan Snow.

There’s no a priori reason why Apple should be able to get updates out more quickly. Changes to the “baseband” software which operates the radio systems in mobile phones (to connect to networks) have to be tested and approved by phone carriers; Apple has to go through those just like Android handset makers. Such changes are part of every major version both of Android and iOS.

But Apple has a clear incentive to roll out updates – to keep users and developers happy – whereas carriers and Android handset makers are less eager; fragmentation and opportunity cost hits them too, and they may have more incentive to encourage people to buy a new handset than see them using the same one with newer software.

Putting kids first

However, generalisations about what “developers” are doing in terms of platform support are risky. In key fast-growing categories – particularly free-to-play social mobile games – a number of companies launch new titles simultaneously on iOS and Android, or even on Android first. Glu Mobile, TinyCo, Storm8 and TeamLava, who have some of the most lucrative iOS games according to Apple’s “top grossing” chart, are also fixtures on Android. Some companies are adopting an Android-first strategy here too.

Japanese social games publisher DeNA, which recently reported revenues of $529m for the first quarter of 2012 alone, chose Android as the platform to launch its Mobage community globally in 2011. Its recently-released Rage of Bahamut game is on Android but not iOS yet.

US publisher Pocket Gems launched a game called Tap Dragon Park exclusively for Android in May. Another US studio, Bionic Panda, focuses on Android games rather than iOS.

Certain kinds of apps can only work on Android rather than iOS, too. British startup SwiftKey is a good example: its natural-language keyboard app SwiftKey X has notched up millions of paid downloads on Google’s store. It works by replacing the default keyboard on Android devices – which Apple does not allow on iOS.

“The early adopter community on Android is quite tech-savvy, and very keen to shout about the latest thing that they’ve discovered,” says Ben Medlock, chief technology officer at SwiftKey. “We’re one of the rare paid apps which is making money on Android.”

Other app categories remain dominated by iOS – for example book-apps and children’s apps. Swedish developer Toca Boca recently passed its 20 millionth kid-app download on iOS, but chief executive Bjorn Jeffery outlines the reasons it has so far shunned Android.

“It is a highly fragmented ecosystem to develop for, and the business model for upfront sales of apps still has its issues,” he says, pointing to a question of how to allocate resources. “The answer there is unique to each developer, but I don’t see ‘Android first’ becoming something strong in the kids app community within a foreseeable amount of time.”

Resources are at the heart of why Schmidt’s hopes that more companies would put Android first are currently certain to be disappointed. Toca Boca, Instagram, Temple Run… These companies were well aware of strong demand on Android for their apps, and they all knew they could probably make money there. But, faced with a decision to double down on iOS or put already-stretched resources into Android, they prioritised Apple’s platform.

Volume, scale, or revenues?

Schmidt’s bold statement that “application vendors are driven by volume” was, it turns out, inaccurate. True, the economics for certain kinds of apps – particularly free and social ones – are driven by scale. Yet the majority of app developers are driven by two simple motives: where they see the most revenues, and by the constraints of their resources and team size. And both those presently favour Apple – substantially.

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11 May 12 PopCap Games CEO: Android Still Too Fragmented, China Helping Company Innovate

Android’s increased fragmentation across hardware devices and OS versions, and its lack of a central app store, have left game developers disappointed with the OS, according to the CEO of “Plants vs. Zombies” publisher PopCap Games.

“Android is not a very good business for most game companies, no matter what anyone tells you,” PopCap CEO David Roberts said in interview Thursday. “I’m sure there are some people making money on it, but based on the amount of hardware it sells it hasn’t turned into the game business I think a lot of folks hoped”

Roberts made the comment as other developers have complained of Android’s fragmentation and the difficulties in building apps for the OS. PopCap, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts, has developed hit mobile games, which are available for both Apple’s iOS, along with Android. The iOS platform, however, has been far easier to develop for, given that all apps are sold through Apple’s App Store, and that there is little variation among the company’s iPhone and iPad devices, Roberts said.

The opposite is true for the Android OS, he added. At the same time, iOS users generally buy far more apps than Android users because Apple’s App Store offers a better buying experience.

“We game developers can’t fix it. That’s the problem, we always wish we could. But you can’t sign up with every payment system, and every carrier and do marketing with all of them,” he said referring to the different channels through which Android apps can be bought. “Without a single storefront like Apple has, (Android is) even less appealing.”

Roberts, however, said the fragmentation could be gradually fixed in “big pockets,” with the establishment of more unified Android app stores with large customer bases. On Thursday, PopCap announced it would launch two new exclusive “Plants vs. Zombies” games for China, through a service provided by Tencent, the country’s major online gaming operator. Tencent’s QQ Game Center currently has more than 220 million registered users.

PopCap announced its new “Plants vs. Zombies” games as the company has been working to localize its hit franchise for the country. “Plants vs. Zombies Great Wall Edition” will be released May 18 as an Android app. Later this year, the company will launch a multiplayer title called “Plants vs. Zombies Kingdoms,” which is inspired by popular Chinese games set in the country’s historical Three Kingdoms era.

China ranks as one of “Plants vs. Zombies” largest markets. But the China downloads, which number between 120 million to 150 million, largely come from pirated versions of the game. Currently, the publisher has about 15 million China downloads for “Plants vs. Zombies” that have come via Apple’s App store and deals made with Android device makers.

PopCap’s Shanghai office, which was established in 2008, has sought to navigate past the piracy by designing its newest games to be freemium, meaning users can play the games for free, but have to pay to access for advanced feature or services. The business model has worked especially well in China, but contrasts with the way PopCap and other western game publishers have sold their games as priced products in the past, Roberts said.

“Here [in China] we’re going to learn about business model innovation,” he said, while attending the Global Mobile Internet Conference being held in Beijing. “We’re going to find new ways to design our great games for freemium markets.”

PopCap intends to take those lessons to other countries including the U.S, as markets move away from paid games. Roberts pointed to the fact that the most popular version of its “Bejeweled” game is the free one available for Apple’s iPhone.

“The burden is on us to make the game a game service, and not just a stand-alone game,” he said. “Not just in Asia, but really globally, now we have shifted our thinking to game services, and not just buy-it-once.”

Along with innovating new business models, China has also helped PopCap jump-start the developer’s merchandising business, which first began a year ago as deal for a local clothing vendor to sell “Plants vs. Zombies” apparel in the country. Last month, PopCap announced it had finalized several merchandising deals for North America and Europe to sell products based on its hit gaming franchises.

“That notion of making money from our brands is something we’ve exported to the rest of the world,” Robert said. In China, the company has also sold “Plants vs. Zombies” children books. “They don’t really seem like innovations, but they’re big steps for a little company like ours.”

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23 Mar 12 Chrome River MOBILE Lets Users Stay on the Go – Virtual

Empowers mobile users with iPhone and iPad apps

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 22, 2012

Chrome River Technologies, a leading provider of expense reporting and invoice automation, announced today the release of Chrome River MOBILE, an exciting application that provides customers the ability to capture, create, and approve expenses while on the go, either while traveling or during hectic day-to-day schedules. In addition, users can view and approve third-party invoices from their iPhone or iPad. Like other Chrome River applications, the design and ease of use were created with the end user’s needs in mind.

Chrome River MOBILE is available to subscribed Chrome River customers through an iPhone or iPad. The application is easily downloaded from the Apple App Store at no cost. This new module further extends mobility along with Chrome River’s robust email-based capabilities.

“We continuously strive to provide our customers with the newest technologies to make their day-to-day lives easier,” said Alan Rich, CEO of Chrome River Technologies. “Our customers want the ability to stay current with their travel expenses while they’re in the office, at a client’s site, at home or on the road, and Chrome River MOBILE provides them with the ability to do that very quickly and easily.”

The Chrome River MOBILE app dashboard allows customers to look at summary views, enter expenses and send them directly to Chrome River. If a user is at a business dinner and a receipt is required for the expense, they can simply take a picture of the receipt with their mobile device and leave the hardcopy receipt behind. At the same time, the customer can enter the names of the guests for business meal purposes. It’s all done right at the restaurant as soon as the meal is finished. The user can enter the expense and forget about it. Who needs to carry around all of those wads of paper receipts?

Chrome River MOBILE is also integrated with Chrome River INVOICE to allow users the ability to review and approve third-party vendor invoices that are in their queue for approval. The approver has the option to review a summary or detailed version of the invoice as well as the invoice image directly on their mobile device. The approver can choose to approve the invoice or return it to the submitter with a note requesting further action.

Chrome River is committed to keeping their end users happy with continuous enhancements and innovations that impress and make their lives easier. The addition of Chrome River MOBILE is another enhancement that adds significant value to Chrome River’s expense automation product lines.

About Chrome River

Chrome River Technologies, Inc. provides expense reporting and invoice automation solutions that uniquely combine the latest available internet technologies with over 25 years of financial systems experience. Chrome River delivers immediate payback via a “Software as a Service” delivery model that requires no hardware, no software, and no long-term commitment. This unique service is easily configurable to meet the needs of organizations worldwide with complex expense management policies and collaborative approval processes. Additional information about Chrome River Technologies, Inc. and its solutions may be obtained by phone at 1.888.781.0088 or by visiting the company website at


Connie Moser

Chrome River Technologies

Tel:    888.781.0088 x701

Email:    connie.moser(at)chromeriver(dot)com

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