Android and Apple owners are forever trying to outdo one another when it comes to comparing their favorite platforms, but one area where Google has Apple beat is number of app downloads. According to a new report from App Annie, there was a record 19 billion worldwide downloads from the Google Play Store in Q4 2017, which pushed its lead over Apple's App Store to 145 percent.
Those impressive numbers, which only cover new downloads and not re-installs or updates, were driven by emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, and Brazil. These were the top three countries in terms of year-over-year market share growth, and contributed to Google Play's 10 percent YoY app download growth.
App Annie notes that India surpassed the US when it came to total Android and iOS app downloads for the first time in Q4 2017.
As for what apps were being downloaded during the fourth quarter, those in the categories of games, finance, and personalization had the strongest growth on Google Play. On the iOS App Store, shopping apps were the most downloaded, thanks to events like Alibaba's Singles Day and Cyber Monday, with finance apps coming in second. This latter category is expected to increase in popularity throughout 2018 as more people turn to mobile-based banking and investment and the cryptocurrency craze continues.
While Google Play may have gained more than double the number of iOS App Store downloads in Q4, Apple had an almost 100 percent lead when it came to consumer spending. Both stores saw 20 percent YoY growth in this area, but the $11.5 billion Apple brought in was nearly twice what Google Play's apps generated.
Earlier this month, Apple said customers spent $890 million through in-app purchases or downloading apps from its store between December 24 and December 31. This culminated in a record 300 million dollars' worth of purchases on New Year's Day 2018.
The US was the biggest spender across both Android and iOS in Q4, with Germany in third. Second place was split between the two operating systems; South Korea took the number two spot for Google Play, while Taiwan was second for iOS.