April 29th, 2012 | By Former Staff
We’ve been fighting over these two very particular operating systems for a while: Android or iOS? To sum it up for people unfamiliar with them, it’s basically Google’s mobile OS or Apple’s mobile OS. Apple had a massive advantage: Their headstart. They got the developers first, and polished their OS first, making a very stable and reliable mobile OS. Later, Google released Android on the HTC Dream, a pioneer for Google’s OS. Soon after, the market exponentially expanded, but due to iOS having such an advantage, it never caught up.
There are benefits to sticking to either the Play Store or App Store, just depends on what your prefer. Take note: We are not comparing the phones today, just the devices. The different hardware, performance, etc. depends solely on the company that creates Android phones and we will not be analyzing the difference from an iPhone to an Android phone.
While comparing the two, Flurry found out that Android generated 24% of the typical revenue of iOS. Many developer communities agree, almost unanimously, that iOS is the place to start. Flurry’s data showed that there were many more iOS projects than Android projects starting in 2011:
Just where does Android do better in? While iOS is superior in the case of ad-supported apps, for example, having monotized ads such as AdMob or iAds and the player isn’t required to spend money to play the game. Where IAP (in-app purchase) supported apps, Android wins.
More into detail, here’s a chart of Solitare Deluxe’s results (which is ad-supported):
Why does iOS generate more revenue than Android, especially by 35%? Mainly, iOS players generate more impressions per ad and the revenue for the ad is more on the iOS part. The reason that there are more impressions per ad appears to be caused by users with iPads. Tablets usually have longer play sessions, which generates more impressions. While Android does have it’s tablets, it doesn’t have the same engagement level. That results in the third of iOS’ sales.
“The other one-third of the difference is attributable to higher eCPMs on iOS in the month of March. The eCPMs were equivalent for the first two months of the year, but the quarter-end is seeing good results for iOS. Android, not so much. This speaks to the general volatility one should expect with an ad-supported app. However, we have never seen Android eCPMs higher than iOS, but we have often seen eCPMs on iOS higher than those on Android. iOS takes the prize in this category as well. iOS is the clear winner for our ad-supported app. However, there is no structural reason for that to continue ad infinitum. Long term, there has to be a viable Android tablet solution. Amazon’s Kindle Fire was a great first step for a mass market Android tablet, but Google needs to improve its operating system before Samsung, Asus and the other OEMs can compete with Apple in the high end. As for Ad eCPMS, we saw two months of similar results across the platforms. If not for the March uptick in iOS (which I am very happy about), the eCPMs would have been the same,” said Sean Thompson on Gamastura.
Next up is a IAP supported app, which gets users to buy objects such as in-game money with real-life money.
Clearly, Android wins this category. The differences in the two operating systems come from two influences: IAP revenue per daily view dropped on iOS in January and that TapJoy’s Marketplace significantly increased the revenue on Android. During standard IAP times, Android was ahead by 2%. Google Play proves to be stronger than the App Store when discussing about IAPs.
Finally, whether to choose between Android or iOS is a stinger. Both markets are just as hot and it just depends on what apps you would like to invest in. Deciding which platform may be a hassle but it may pay off in the near future. I’d say, Android and iOS is equal, but we’ll see which is the tie-breaker soon.