It’s long been known that iOS users are more profitable for developers than Android users, but figures released by Google at the Google I/O conference and crunched by Benedict Evans provide some hard data on just how big that gap is.

Google Android users in total are spending around half as much on apps on more than twice the user base, and hence app ARPU on Android is roughly a quarter of iOS.

The key reason, of course, is that Apple makes only high-end devices that attract people with a decent amount of disposable income, while Android spans everything from cheap-and-cheerful devices offered exclusively in developing countries all the way through to high-end phones like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8).

Evans makes the point that we don’t actually have any data on the app and media spend of owners of premium Android handsets, and that may actually be similar to iOS users – but given that they represent a tiny minority of Android users, it’s a stat that would be interesting but not terribly relevant.

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7 Responses to “Google’s numbers show iOS generates 4x more average revenue per user than Android”

  1. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Not too surprising, given the fragmentation and lower user engagement versus iOS.


  2. You have to keep in mind that there are other app stores out there for android, like amazon.
    The numbers mentioned in the article are for the play store only. I know a lot of people that buy apps from amazon, since the payment methods are much simpler for customers, at least here in germany.


    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      This is true, but I don’t think adding in smaller app stores would change the picture substantially


      • Absolutely correct, but this another kind of android fragmentation ;o)
        I think you would have to ask (and get an honest answer) some large android-app developers how much revenue they make over all and how that is splitted up over the different app stores, just to get an idea on how much apps are being sold outside the play store.


      • Tim Jr. says:

        and I never recommend 3rd party app stores.. they are a major source of malware.. Amazon doesn’t scan or review anything.. for example. Malware on Android is a major pain point that Google strategically avoided the conversation on yesterday.


      • You’re correct Ben, adding smaller app stores would change the numbers by what? A few percentage points at the most?

        Plus like Tim Jr mentioned, those third-party apps are a HUGE source of malware due to lack of any security or screening by the operators.

        This just once again goes to show what a disaster Android is, and how whatever action Google takes now to rectify it, is too little too late.


    • The consensus is in. Any other application store other than the Google Play Store has almost no relevance in the grand scheme of things.