Google has made amazing gains in one of the largest mobile gaming markets in the world.

The Google Play app market grew by 150 percent in Germany from 2013 through the end of 2014 according to a free report from intelligence firm App Annie. And for the first time ever, Google Play revenue in Germany surpassed iOS spending. This is very different compared to the rest of the world where, despite Android’s market-share dominance, iOS still makes up the bulk of mobile spending. With smartphone and tablet games generating $25 billion in revenue last year, developers and publishers are looking for the best platform to get the most of that money. While iOS is still the clear leader in terms of revenue, Google is proving that Android still has the potential to compete.

“Although the iOS App Store showed continued revenue growth [in Germany] throughout 2014, revenue in Google Play exploded,” reads the App Annie report. “Revenue in 2014 from iOS in Germany was 1.3-times 2013 revenue, while 2014 app revenue from Google Play was 2.5-times its 2013 level.”

Not all app analytics solutions are created equal.
Learn which solutions are best bets for Google Play and iOS.


GamesBeat Next 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in San Francisco this October 24-25. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry on latest developments and their take on the future of gaming.

Learn More

Germany is the second-largest mobile gaming market in Europe and the sixth largest worldwide. And while Google Play has taken a lead in this territory, it is still far behind in terms of spending in the other major markets — especially in Europe.

While this is a big win for Android, it isn’t the first time Google Play has outperformed iOS in one of the world’s 10 biggest mobile-gaming markets. The Android operating system regularly generates more money in South Korea than iOS — but that isn’t surprising considering how popular the Samsung Android phones are in that region.

Google Play also goes back and forth with iOS in Japan, and it has the outright lead in Taiwan. Both of those are also top-10 in terms of mobile-game spending.

“The resulting app market distribution is significantly different from that in major European markets such as the United Kingdom, where the iOS App Store remains the dominant player in app monetization.”

UK Germany App Annie

So, what’s responsible for Google Play’s impressive revenue growth in Germany? App Annie points to how Android continues to gobble up device market share.

“The distribution between operating systems leaves little doubt that Android devices are a popular choice in Germany,” reads the report. “Mobile devices running the Android operating system have led the installed base in Germany for some time, and this lead has widened as Android device adoption outstripped iOS growth in each of the last three years. Its substantial lead in installed base for smartphones and tablets also indicates that Google Play has a significantly larger user base than the iOS App Store in Germany.”

Google Play also gets twice as many app downloads compared to iOS. So really, this is the story of the average iOS user still spending more than the average Android user, but — in Germany at least — the sheer number of Google Play customers has finally enabled it to squeak out more revenue. But only just barely.

average spend

While Google Play made more money than iOS in January in Germany, it was only about 10 percent more. Compare that to the U.K., where iOS made 130 percent more the revenue of Android.

Of course, making games on mobile is not an either-or proposition.

“Apple has always been better at ensuring the App Store is a valuable destination,” VB Insight analyst Stewart Rogers said. “These latest figures are the first sign that Android’s market share domination may overhaul Apple’s profit share majority globally, but it will still take time for that to happen. Regardless, our own studies on mobile market acquisition show that the developers who win are those that support both iOS and Android.”

App Annie shared all of these details and more in its report, which you can download for free from its website.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.