Friday, October 26, 2012

Google Android vs. Apple iOS

Google App Store
Google's App Store has more free Apps than Apple iOS
Many of my friends turn to me as their all-knowing source of knowledge concerning mobile devices, apps, games, etc.  Admittedly, I don't know a lot more than most of you. A friend comes to me with a question: "Who has the better app store: Google Android or Apple iOS?"

I'm sure many of you have an opinion.  Your opinion probably lines up with the device you own because as consumers we love to justify our purchases.  I'll give you my opinion in a second, but first let's look at some facts that can help you form an opinion if you don't have one.

Google Android has more Free Apps
67% of the apps on the  iOS App store are paid apps compared to only 34% paid apps on Google.

iOS App Developers make more money
Apple iOS Developers made 700M in Q4 2011, whereas Google App developers made 210M. 

Google has higher Market Penetration
Google has a 2:1 market penetration lead right now over Apple, while Apple is only making about 30% more revenue. However, this ratio may be shrinking as the number of Google customers intending to purchase another devices is shrinking compared to Apple (47% Android, 42% Apple).

iOS 6 app Store
Apple and iOS Developers make a lot more money
Apple's Proprietary Stranglehold
Google's Android is available on far more devices including PC, Tablet, and mobile device.  Apple's iOS is closed and often apps are for specific devices.  I can play my Google apps on any computer by logging into a browser.

So it's obvious that Apple and its developers make more money.  At first glance you might think "so what?" because who cares if they're making money when all you care about are games?  Well the answer is simple:  Innovation will follow the money.

While the best games and apps will be available for both platforms (because they can be), in the off-chance that something new an innovative only comes to one of the stores, chances are it's coming to Apple.

This is why I believe that Apple has the better app store from an ideological standpoint.  I'm always thinking about the future and weighing the factors that will influence future app development.  However, right here and now, if you care about the most popular apps then you can't go wrong with either.  If you care about free apps, and being able to take them to other platforms easily, Google's Android is for you.

- Doug

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