Google Play Store to surpass Apple App Store in revenue by the end of the year, report says

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It’s no secret that Google and Apple are dominating the mobile business right now, with everyone else battling for third position, and we have a new report that says the former will pass the latter by the end of 2013 when it comes to app revenue.

We’re looking at a new analysis from App Annie which has been looking at the Play Store and App Store and their performances in the last few months and concluded that the Play Store could surpass the iTunes in revenue by the end of the year.

According to the data, Apple is still making a lot more money for app developers at this time than Google is: in Q4 2012 Apple brought in 350% more app revenue than Google.

But growth appears to be more impressive for Google, with App Annie seeing a 33% growth from November to December and a 100% gain from December to January for Apple. Meanwhile, Google saw a 700% growth from December to January when it comes to app revenue. Overall, in Q4 2012, Google Play revenue grew 200% compared to Apple’s 20% growth:

“Clearly, the Google Play platform is working, and monetization is increasing,” App Annie’s VP of marketing, Ollie Lo, told [VentureBeat] yesterday. “The growth is much more than organic … it’s really meteoric, especially in Japan and Korea.”

App Annie creates its app store index based on aggregate data from its app analytics offering. Eighty percent of the top iOS publishers by revenue use App Annie, Lo told me, with 180,000 apps in total having installed the solution. With that level of scale, the company has tracked more than 13 billion downloads and has, Lo says, all the data and scale to be able to build very accurate models of what exactly happens on apps stores.

While percentages do not translate into cash, and they’re relative to each of the two company’s prior revenue performances, if real, they do suggests that at some point the Play Store will indeed be more profitable than the App Store.

That seems to be a given considering that there are more Android users than iOS device owners, so in theory, in time they should download more content, including paid apps.

In other words, yes, we’re still looking at a highly lucrative mobile business, which will bring plenty of cash to all the players involved, especially the top OS makers, in the months and years to come.

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