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App Store publishers pull in more cash from Apple than Google Play, report says

Consumers spent nearly $130 million on apps in the first few months of 2019.

Chinese customers are trying the new iPhone 8 in an Apple
Apple app consumers are outspending their Google counterparts.
Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple's top app publishers are making around 64% more in gross income than those on Google Play, according to mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower. During the first quarter of 2019, the report said the top 100 App Store publishers made $83.8 million in average gross income, while Google Play's top publishers saw around $51 million.

People are continuing to spend more money on apps, too. Consumers spent $130 million during the quarter, compared with $33.9 million during the same quarter five years ago. Since 2014, Google Play has seen consumer spending rise 289%, while the Apple App Store has seen it grow by 291%, Sensor Tower said.

Sensor Tower

App Store publishers made even more when it came to non-gaming apps, out-earning their Google Play counterparts threefold, the report shows. People spent $23 million on non-gaming apps via Apple last quarter, and only $7 million on Google Play.

When it comes to gaming apps, Sensor Tower said the disparity is a little smaller, with App Store consumers spending $70 million and Google Play consumers spending $48 million in the quarter.

"The difference in average spending between the App Store and Google Play was closest here -- but still greatly in favor of Apple," Sensor Tower said.

Despite its publishers pulling in more, Apple was sued this month by a California-based app developer over its App Store fees.

Donald R. Cameron and Pure Sweat Basketball filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Apple conducts anticompetitive practices in its App Store, including a 30% commission rate, minimum pricing mandates and a $99 annual developer fee.

"Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app," Steve Berman, the attorney representing the proposed class of developers, said in a press release June 4. "In a competitive landscape, this simply would not happen."