Traditionally, iOS apps have drawn more revenue than Android apps, but with Android’s sizable lead in global market share you’d think the gap was getting narrower. According to the latest data obtained by App Annie, it’s quite the opposite. In the first quarter of 2015, global revenue for the iOS app store was 70% higher than revenue from Google Play, up from 60% in Q3 2014.
The gain is attributed in large part to strong iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales in China, where demand for larger screens is particularly high. In fact, Apple devices accounted for 25% of all the smartphones sold in urban China during Q1 2015. Shipments of smartphones with screen sizes between 5 and 7 inches constituted roughly 60 percent of total smartphone shipments in the country.
App Annie notes that China surpassed the U.S. in quarterly iOS downloads in the first quarter of 2015 for the first time since it has been measuring per country downloads. This climb to the top was primarily driven by games and photo/video apps. Popular apps during the quarter include an app called Pitu which offers “beauty, make-up and cosplay filters”, as well as apps like IN and Fotoplace.
Despite coming out on top in terms of downloads, when it comes to overall iOS App Store revenue, China took the third spot after the U.S. and Japan.
Meanwhile, although it lost revenue to iOS, Google Play still registered a 70% uptick in downloads between the third quarter 2014 and first quarter 2015 thanks to its growing market penetration in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey.