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Apple Developers Earn Five Times the Revenue Per Download of Android Developers


Although Android has the overwhelming share of the market, iOS still rakes in much more cash per download.

Looking at T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) G1 phone from 2008, with its slide-out keyboard, it's hard to believe the Android of today began with such a clunky device. During this past quarter, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) mobile phones made up four out every five shipped. Considering Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) came in a distant second with just under 13%, that is a staggering lead.

Then again, Apple is definitely no slouch when it comes to profits. Not only does Cupertino lead the industry in hardware profit margins, in-app purchases and developer revenue completely trounce that of Android's offerings.

According to some number-crunching by Business Insider, the gap between iOS and Android in terms of app revenue, advertising, developer fees, and commerce is nearly equal -- with Android earning $0.91 for every iOS dollar. Even just looking at mobile ad revenue, Google holds its own by earning $0.77 for every dollar that Apple makes.

But then comes a huge drop-off.

In terms of paid downloads and in-app purchases, Android slumps to $0.43 for every dollar on iOS. Taking paid downloads out of the equation, the gap is even wider: Android makes just $0.24 for in-app purchases compared to iOS' $1.00. (Looks like iPhone users are really buying up those extra lives in Candy Crush.)

Sadly, things are even worse for developers. Despite a pressing need for Android coders given the sheer number of devices for the platform, iOS developers earn more than five times the revenue per download than Android developers. Clearly, iPhone and iPad users are more willing to part with their cash for an app than are Android users, making Apple's mobile OS far more attractive to code for.

As a user, there's much to be said about the versatility and cheap-to-free options of Android apps. But for those who actually make them, there's still much to be desired.


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