Google Play has always lagged behind Apple's App Store in terms of pure revenue since its inception. That trend has not changed, but Google Play is at least starting to show signs of major growth after months of very little.
App Annie recently released a study that compares revenue growth between Google Play and Apple's App Store. The findings show that the iOS App Store is still by and large the dominant force in mobile revenue, but Google Play is starting to show some serious growth of its own.
As you can see, both Google Play and iOS App Store saw a marked increase in revenue during Q4. The growth of Google Play was far more impressive, however, as app revenue doubled between Q3 and Q4. iOS App Store revenue only increased by one-fifth, but it still made plenty more considering its already sizable lead in revenue.
So, who's responsible for app revenue growth on these platforms? The iOS App Store's five biggest contributors were the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada in that order They note that China is quickly closing in, however, and the nation is now ranked sixth in overall revenue contribution.
As for Google Play, the three biggest contributors were the United States, Japan and South Korea. The U.S. was pretty consistent since the beginning of 2012, but the market in Japan and South Korea really exploded near the end of the year. The increase in Google Play revenue in these countries may correlate to increased sales of Android devices, especially in Japan where the Nexus 7 beat out the iPad during the holidays.
These numbers make it easy to label winners and losers, but doing so would distract us from the real winners here - the app developers and consumers. Increased revenue across the board means more developers will be willing to develop apps for more mobile platforms. The more mobile platforms supported means more consumers buying apps. It's a cycle that leads us to even more revenue and more app development. In short, everybody wins.