Apple App Store vs Google Play Store (2021 Comparison)

What’s your favourite app? We’re sure at least a few names come to your mind, without which you can’t go through your day. Depending on your device’s operating system, you should thank the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for letting you enjoy those applications. 

The two app stores are great players in the app industry and have developed excellent customer bases. However, as both of them have their qualities and drawbacks, proceed to check this Apple App Store vs Google Play Store comparison and decide which you would prefer more.

What Are Apple App Store and Google Play Store?

Google Play Store and Apple App Store are both official app stores for Android and iOS, respectively. Launched in 2008, they have significantly grown ever since. In the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, users can browse and download Android and iOS apps as well as music, books, movies, and television programmes.

Apple App Store vs Google Play Store – Quality

Considering the approval time of an app, you can easily understand which of the two app stores delivers more quality apps and is safer for its users. 

It takes about two hours or less for Google Play Store to review and approve an app. Is that really enough time to check if the app is ready to be released for public use? Probably not, since there are thousands of Android apps submitted daily. But each app goes through an automated process to be verified if it is virus/malware-free and whether it contains nudity or copyrighted images. Moreover, the apps are checked manually by experts.

In contrast, the Apple App Store takes longer to review apps before uploading them on the platform. Over 90% of the iOS apps get inspected within 48 hours. 

We can conclude that the Apple App Store provides its users with higher-quality apps. While Google Play also includes great apps, there is a high possibility that you can come across some buggy applications that might cause security concerns.

Apple App Store vs Google Play Store – Revenue

Regarding sharing the revenue with the app developers, both Google Play Store and Apple App Store have the same rules. 70% of the revenue goes to the developer, while 30% goes to the store. 

Even so, the Apple App Store led with an estimated revenue of $72.3 billion in 2020, responsible for 65% of total app revenue. In the same year, Google Play Store generated revenues of nearly $40 billion through Android apps. That is significantly less than Apple’s App Store profit. However, compared to the previous year it has still increased by 25%. 

Moreover, Apple App Store outperforms Google Play in generated revenue even though Android accounts for 71.44% of the mobile & tablet operating system market share worldwide as of May 2021 (as compared to 27.77% owned by iOS). Furthermore, as of June 2021, Apple has a market cap of $2,104 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable company.

Most businesses advise mobile app developers to launch apps for iOS first if their goal is to make money since the Apple App Store is the front runner in this area.

Apple App Store vs Google Play Store – Growth

Since their launch in 2008, Apple App Store and Google Play Store have expanded significantly. Smartphone usage statistics in the UK show that 100% of GenZ in the UK are smartphone users. How do you think this has affected the growth of app stores?

Google Play Store has shown remarkable growth in the number of available Android apps. On the flip side, the Apple App Store stands out with its increase in yearly gross revenue. However, that doesn’t mean that Google’s Play revenue growth rate is something to look down on. For example, in 2020, Google Play Store had a revenue increase of 25% compared to 2019. Similarly, statistics show app growth in the Apple App Store increased by 6.10% compared to the previous quarter.

Play Store vs App Store – Number of Apps

How Many Apps Are on the App Store?

The Apple App Store had only 500 iOS apps available during its launch. Today, it includes 2.22 million apps, which makes it the second-largest app store on the market.

How Many Apps Are on the Play Store?

So, is Google Play Store bigger than Apple App Store? Yes, it is the largest app store with 3.48 million Android apps as of the first quarter of 2021. In 2020, users worldwide downloaded 108.5 billion mobile apps from Google Play, up from 76 billion apps in 2018. Stats project that Google Play Store users will download 139 billion mobile apps in 2024.

As Google Play is available for a broader range of products, it generates more downloads than the Apple App Store, which is available only for Apple devices. Moreover, the number of apps constantly fluctuates for both app stores since they regularly remove low-quality apps or apps that do not follow the current guidelines. However, even with regular app filtering, the number of applications is steadily increasing throughout the years.

Advantages of Apple App Store and Google Play Store

The most significant advantage of the Apple App Store from a user’s view is that it delivers high-quality, thoroughly checked apps. In addition, customers can choose from the list of available iOS apps with budget-friendly prices and safely enjoy them. 

What Apple App Store users consider an advantage would be a disadvantage for Google Play Store users. Unlike Apple, Android offers its customers access to many more free apps. 

What Is the Difference Between Google Play and Apple App Store?

Although the two app stores serve the same purpose — provide their users with quality apps, they surely have some differences. 

Apple App Store leads in revenue, and unlike Google Play, it is available in China too. Moreover, Apple App Store users are used to paying for their iOS apps, thus contributing to the yearly revenue. 

It’s fair to say that Google Play differs from Apple App Store by being more developer-friendly as the app approval process is not that strict. 

Finally, Google Play charges developers a one-time registration fee of $25 to submit an app, whereas Apple has a $99 yearly developer fee.

User Opinions

If you go through customer reviews for both app stores, you will be surprised to find that their overall rating is not so good. Interestingly enough, both have the same rating score of 1.6 stars on Trustpilot. However, let’s focus on the positive reviews since the negative ones for both app stores are mainly regarding the not-approved refunds. 

Android customers are happy with how well organized and easy to use the app store is. Moreover, reviewers mentioned that Google Play offers an excellent variety of Android apps and games. However, in many reviews, customers noted that there are also numerous low-quality apps, and Google Play should take care of that issue.

The users of the Apple App Store are mainly satisfied with the overall products, and many mentioned that they are using multiple different Apple devices. Furthermore, the Apple customer service team has received positive feedback.

Conclusion

So, which is better: Play Store or App Store? Indeed, it is a never-ending battle between two giants in the app industry. Google Play Store and Apple App Store are vibrant marketplaces and home to millions of different apps. Not only are they convenient and fun for Android and iOS users, but their app stores have also formed excellent developer resources and monetization opportunities. 

There are many positive things about the two app stores, but, of course, there are also some downsides that give them plenty of room for improvement. So, we can easily say that it’s a tie in the Apple App Store vs Google Play Store contest.