According to a recent study, Google Play for Android has finally surpassed its rival app repository but the App Store still maintains a strong edge in terms of revenue generated for developers. The figures come from the App Annie blog, which measured app downloads in the second quarter of 2013 along with other indicators. App Annie found that Google Play downloads exceeded App Store downloads by 10% in the quarter, attributing that growth in no small part to app download growth in developing markets such as Russia, China, Brazil and India.

The fact that Google Play has only now just surpassed the App Store in terms of downloads is likely a testament to the greater engagement of iOS device owners with their devices. Android is estimated to run roughly three out of four mobile devices shipped worldwide but at least one-third of those running a year-old version of the Android OS, meaning that they may not be as well able to access recent apps and their users may not be downloading as many apps.

Google Play has also surpassed the App Store in terms of overall app volume. The Play Store now counts more than one million apps in its library while the App Store, according to the last count, has just over 900,000. Apple’s offering though, beats Google when it comes to tablet-optimized apps, with 375,000 apps built for the iPad while Google struggles to get developers to optimize their apps for the myriad of Android tablets.

The App Store also beats Google in what may be considered the most important category as well: overall revenue generated both for the store and for developers hosted therein. App Annie’s study found that the App Store generated 2.3 times the revenue of the Play Store, despite the Play Store’s 10% advantage in overall downloads. The figure was slightly down from the 2.6 times figure that App Annie found in its previous examination of the market. The revenue gap has resulted in a competitive edge for Apple in terms of app quality and developer loyalty. Developers with App Store offerings have made more than $11 billion in sales since the store’s opening, with half of that coming in the last four quarters.

We’ll have to see how the market evolves with all the changes both tech giants continue to push for with their future plans.

Source: App Annie (blog)