App Downloads reach 13.4B on Sales of $2.2B

Recent figures from Canalys show that in Q1 2013 the four top app stores worldwide accounted for 13.4 billion app downloads and $2.2 billion worth of paid apps and in-app purchases. On the face of it, it would appear that the Google Play Store is running away with the race posting 51% of all downloads but this is only half of the story.  Downloads originating from Apple’s App Store account for 74% of all revenue generated at ($1.6 billion).

iOS vs  Google Play

App store icons

These figures back up the advice that we give to clients at when asked which platform they should develop for first.  If the client plans to charge for the initial download of their app then they should seriously consider Apple as their preferred platform to give them the best chance of generating revenue.

In terms of growth the figures show an 11% growth compared to Q4 2012 in downloads and 9% in terms of sales showing strong appetite for downloading new apps and paying for those apps.


Although overall app numbers for Google Play and the Apple App Store top 500,000 each, Blackberry and Windows are languishing with around the 100,000 mark.  This clearly demonstrates that app developers and their clients need further convincing that developing for Windows and Blackberry is a safe and sensible move and not a gamble.

Despite the challenges, and the not very encouraging numbers, Canalys still sees an opportunity.

“Apple’s App Storeand Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world,” writes Tim Shepherd, Canalys senior analyst. “In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored.”