If I were a developer, I’d abandon Android now

Jul 22, 2014
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If I were a developer, I’d abandon Android now

Based on one chart I’m seeing today coming from data source from Google, Apple, and tech VC firm Andressen Horowitz, iOS is dominating Android. Not in sales of devices worldwide, not in popularity of the operating system - but in gross app store revenue. For this reason alone, there’s little reason why I’d continue developing for Android and iOS if I were a developer - I’d stick with the clear winner.

You’ll find numbers here for trailing 12m gross app store revenue in $billions of dollars. Google is climbing at a rate that’s slower than Apple, and Apple’s app store revenue is increasing exponentially.

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According to Benedict Evans after his chart tweet, "new users coming to Android are low-ARPU." That means they bring in little cash. Average revenue per user being low on Android - especially compared to Apple - means quite simply that there’s more reason to be a developer of apps for cash on Apple products.

The chart you see below comes from Evans and shows use, install base and developer revenue for the second quarter of 2014. This is the second 1/4th of the year, not a fiscal quarter - aka April, May, and June.

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You’ll see Android in orange. Notice the only column here where orange is smaller than dark gray (besides Greenwich, CT)? It’s net developer revenue. According to the numbers collected here by Benedict Evans, "app ARPU on Android is roughly a quarter of iOS."

What choice is there left to make?


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