Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tim Cook, Jony Ive and Co. have long been the undisputed champs of the app store game. Nothing lasts forever, and Cupertino has met its match with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play.
Right now, the search engine giant appears to be making its move for the top thanks to a strong Q2 2013. According to the App Annie Index, Google play exceeded iOS App Store downloads by 10 percent during the second quarter of this year.
This is a big surprise and not just because Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Larry Page and Eric Schmidt (images below) came out on top. The 10 percent gap is well worth noting, showing that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) not only lost ground during the quarter but did so in a big way.
Why did this Happen?
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what happened, but there are some indicators of why Google Play was able to outperform the Apple App Store.
Above all else, Google Play appears to be catching on in regions throughout the world, with India and Brazil giving the company a huge push during the second quarter.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Bringing Home the Bread
When you look at nothing more than the number of downloads, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was the big winner. But isn’t there something more important?
The Apple iOS App Store was able to generate 2.3x the revenue during this period. In other words, Google Play may have seen more downloads but the company was nowhere close to Cupertino in terms of revenue. And as we all know, it is all about the Benjamins!
Google Struggling to Monetize
With app downloads 10 percent higher, one would think Google would have the upper hand as far as revenue is concerned. This is not the case.
Google Play continues to struggle with its ability to monetize, while Apple has mastered this to the tune of generating more than twice as much revenue during the second quarter.
Top Countries by Revenue
If Google Play wants to close in on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store in terms of revenue, it should focus on the following countries (listed by the most revenue first):
There is one area of growth that has allowed iOS App Store revenue to push past Google Play: music and social networking apps. These two categories have driven Apple App Store revenue for quite some time, and this past quarter was no different. Google Play would be well served focusing on this area in the quarters to come, using this to close the revenue gap moving forward. At this time, Play generates the largest amount of revenue from “games” followed by apps in “communication” and then “social.”
In one way, you could call the race between Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play and the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store as even.
Google has more downloads but Apple is making more money.
Here is the real question: can either company claim the top spot in both statistical categories in the near future?
Do you remember when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone App Store five years ago? Check out the video below: