Growth in iOS applications increases over Android

Posted on February 15, 2012

The number of applications available for iOS devices is increasing faster than those available for Android devices, according to statistics generated by analytics company Flurry and reported by Businessweek.

Apple has more than 550,000 apps in its store, compared with over 400,000 for Google’s Android Market.

At Digital Possibilities we would put this down to three different phenomenon:

  • iOS has fewer hardware formats so is easier (less costly!) to develop for.
  • iOS users have a greater propensity to pay.
  • The success of the iPad, and its need for an adapted application has driven creation of multiple apps rather than one for Android, where tablets have yet to gain momentum.

What this means in effect, from the point of view of anyone investing in mobile, they are more likely to see a return by investing in iOS. The development costs are lower for the iPhone, and the ability to charge end users is higher.

However, that is not to day that it is impossible to gain a return from Android, far from it. There are millions of people with Android phones and it is arguably the second most successful ecosystem. For each potential commercial scenario,  the business model will impact the profitability of any particular application. If the business model is to sell, a focus on iOS makes sense, but if the business model is one where eyeballs count, a focus on both Android and iOS makes perfect sense.