At a quick glance, App Annie’s Q1 2014 index shows what we all already knew - Google Play outpaces iOS globally for downloads, but iOS generates more revenue - yet the picture isn't quite so cut and dry.
While Google Play is indeed doing the business globally - topping iOS App Store downloads by around 45 percent - its growth came from the strong performance of BRIC nations like Russia and Brazil. Interestingly, it also saw a substantial uptick from emerging markets like Mexico and Turkey.
App Annie notes that smartphone growth recently exploded in Mexico, long viewed as the distant third in North America's mobile markets, increasing by about 75 percent in 2013 with an addition growth of 40 percent expected in the year ahead.
Mind the gap
And while iOS is still the front runner for revenue - trumping Google Play by about 85 percent - the gap between the two mobile platforms is narrowing thanks to increased Android spending in the US and UK.
Another interesting data point hidden in the Index is that China and the United States drove iOS App Store revenue growth, with China's revenue increasing by about 70 percent quarter-over-quarter.
This growth is particularly surprising, given that Chinese mobile users historically gravitate toward low-end Android devices.
Overall, the United States led iOS in both downloads and revenue - with China coming in second and third, resp. - while Google Play saw the US lead for downloads with Japan reigning as the top country by revenue.
[source: App Annie]