When will Android revenues take over iOS revenues?

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Kevin Ford

September 6th, 2013

While Android continues to completely dominate smartphone market share globally (80% vs 14% foriOS), they are losing ground in the United States (51% vs 43% for iOS) because they struggle to win over first time smartphone buyers. According to VentureBeat, in the last three months “Apple’s three-year-old iPhone 4 was the top model for feature-phone switchers.”

We all know Apple users spend more in apps but many believe it’s just a matter of time before Android revenues will take over those of iOS because of their scale. We decided to ask the Games Task Force for their take on the matter.

The NativeX Games Task Force provides highly specialized one-on-one consultation to NativeX partners, helping them increase the engagement, retention, and monetization of their F2P games.

 

When will Android revenues take over iOS revenues?

Nate Dykstra

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
I think Google is going to have to figure out a way to get people to buy into their payment process, which is currently a big barrier to entry for some people. Apple has had the upper hand there due to having credit cards on file since they opened the iTunes music store. I think Google is slowly making up that ground with Google Wallet and other initiatives they are trying, but it’s definitely an uphill battle for them.

I also believe a large number of the new Android device activations are coming in developing countries due to the availability of affordable lower end devices in those geos. In those countries players might not have the budget to spend as much on games as players in more developed countries where a large number of higher end Android and iOS devices are being sold more rapidly.

While we do see Android taking over market share, I personally believe it won’t be until at least 2016 before Google Play revenues catch up to those of the App Store and this only assumes that Android continues to hold and gain that overall device market share.

 

Ben Sipe

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
I’m going to be a little controversial and say Google will rival or beat iOS in 2015. Google has far more market share, more downloads, and is growing faster than iOS.

Historically it’s had lower quality games, bad payment processes/methods, and wasn’t capturing credit card information, but I think they’re making great strides to combat all of those problems. Most games lately have the same quality as iOS. Google has added services to rival iOS’s Game Center, and Google Wallet works great (but really needed to be there from the beginning). It’s now just about getting the general public to adopt to all these changes.

Till then, we can sit back and watch the global app revenue bars get closer and closer every month. It’s only a matter of time.

 

Chris Harris

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
According to AppAnnie, Google has an edge on iOS for app downloads by 10% however the revenue trails by over half.

Until Google gets serious about connecting users’ credit cards with Google Play they won’t catch iOS in revenue for quite a few years. Even if Google figures out a process to get new users, they still have the issue with existing accounts. Giving away free ebooks on Google Play in order to get credit cards is certainly not the answer…if they are lucky to get 2% I would be surprised.

Let’s say they figure something out by the end of 2014. My guess would be that Google Play takes the coveted top revenue spot in 2016.

 

Trevor McCalmont

Games Analyst, NativeX Games Task Force
I just don’t see Android revenues passing iOS anytime soon. There’s so much fragmentation on Android, you have to support so many different screen sizes and operating systems and it’s a huge hassle for developers.

Having a great user experience is critical for users to make an IAP, they don’t want to spend money on a buggy game or one that crashes, plus it’s just impossible to support every device, so you’re missing out on revenue there. Android will have to do something about the fragmentation before I can see Android surpassing iOS.

I know there are more downloads from the Google Play store, but that is just a vanity metric. I’ll take the consistent quality of the App Store for at least the next 5-7 years.

Verdict

Although the Games Task Force does not agree on all of the details, the general consensus is that Android revenues will take over iOS revenues, most likely by 2016. What’s your take? Let us know in the comments below.

If you have question for the Games Task Force, submit it to contact@nativeX.com.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager

2013-09-06

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