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A new analysis concludes that Apple customers are paying over seven times more than their Android counterparts. For developers, this is a valuable insight to guide them on the lucrative path for their app creations.

Horace Dediu of a collaborative and peer-reviewed analysis-focused website, Asymco, shared the detailed analysis. According to Dediu, it started with economic anecdotes from developers creating iOS and Android apps.

“The story is that they tended to have twice as many users using Android but that iPhone App Store revenues were roughly twice those of Google Play Store,” the analyst said.

The analyst said that the stories guided him to the principle that “an iPhone user was about 4 times more valuable than an Android user,” which translates to double income for developers. After 10 years and having more access to data needed for the analysis, Dediu has managed to put the idea into numbers to better establish a reliable conclusion:

Apple claims 650 million active App Store users while Google claims 2.5 billion active users. That makes the global ratio closer to 4x Android. […]

The ratio between revenues has kept remarkably steady, with 2016 revenues at a Apple:Google ratio of 29:15 (1.93) and 2022 at a ratio of 81:42 (1.93) […]

Thus we can compare the app revenue per user of the two platforms by dividing global revenue number by the global user numbers. 

In a better perspective, the data translates to an iPhone user producing a monthly revenue of $10.40, while an Android customer can only hit $1.40. Interestingly, the data doesn’t even include the cost iPhone users spend on Apple’s services, proving how lucrative the app development business is in the iOS market. According to Apple’s third earnings call of 2023, its services revenue soared due to over a billion paid subscriptions, translating to $21.2 billion. It is a huge jump from the $19.6 billion in the same quarter last year.

This reflects a study commissioned by Apple, revealing how huge the App Store business is. According to international economics consulting firm Analysis Group, this amount reached $1.1 trillion in billings and sales globally in 2022. The study further shared that the App Store ecosystem grew between 27% and 29% annually over the past few years. It said that improvements in the pandemic also contributed to the growth of certain app categories in the App Store in 2022 (e.g., up to 84% for travel and up to 45% for ride-hailing services. The study also stated Apple customers have downloaded apps over 370 billion times while the developers have received over $320 billion in earnings directly on the App Store since the launch of the App Store 15 years ago.


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