Revenues generated by mobile apps and game sales rose 35% year over year in 2017 to $58.6 billion. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) nabbed $38.5 billion in sales at its App Store through in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps, almost double the $20.1 billion total generated by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) at Google Play.
Google Play’s year-over-year percentage increase was 34.2% compared to the App Store’s increase of 34.7% according to research firm Sensor Tower.
The big difference is likely due to the unavailability of Google Play in China.
By download volume, however, Google Play apps grew more rapidly. Sensor Tower noted:
The growth of Google Play app downloads was more pronounced than those from Apple’s store at 16.7 percent versus 6.7 percent, respectively, a byproduct of Android’s higher rate of adoption in developing nations. Google Play downloads, which we count as the first install of an app per user account, totaled approximately 64 billion, or about 2.3 times the App Store’s estimated 28 billion.
Nearly 82% of total revenues — $48.3 billion — were generated by mobile games. Both Apple and Google saw game revenue rise by about 30% year over year. Spending on App Store games totaled an estimated $30 billion while Google Play spending totaled about $18 billion.
Google Play accounted for about 77% — 27.2 billion — mobile game downloads last year, up 17.8% year over year. App Store game downloads totaled about 8.3%, up 5.5% year over year.
Mobile game downloads rose by 14.6% year over year, from about 31 billion to an estimated 35.5 billion.