Android device owners spend only one-seventh of the amount iPhone users do on app purchases
September 8, 2023

Android device owners spend only one-seventh of the amount iPhone users do on app purchases

Apple iPhone users are known for being big spenders when it comes to buying apps, as shown by the latest research. According to the data, iPhone users spend up to 7 times more on apps compared to Android device owners. This is a significant difference compared to the informal “4x” rule that was based on personal observation and user opinions.

Horace Dediu, an analyst known for his detailed analysis of Apple devices, used to rely on a simple rule of thumb before this data became available. He heard anecdotes from developers who built apps for iOS and Android, which indicated that while Android had twice as many users, the revenue from the iPhone App Store was at least double that of the Google Play Store.

Based on this information, Dediu derived a rule that an iPhone user is about 4 times more valuable than an Android user. Despite having half the number of users, iPhone users pay 4 times more, resulting in double the income.

iPhone users spend seven times more

After a decade, there is now much more data available. Dediu has found a number he believes is more accurate. According to Apple's claim of having 650 million active App Store users and Google's claim of having 2.5 billion active users, the global ratio is 4x in favor of the Google Android community. However, the ratio of realized income has remained extremely stable. In 2016, the earnings ratio between Apple and Google was 29:15 (1.93), and in 2022, it was in a ratio of 81:42 (1.93).

This allows us to compare the revenue from app sales per user on the two leading mobile platforms. By dividing the total amount of revenue generated by the total number of platform users, we can obtain the figure of monthly income per user. The income per user is $10.40 for iPhone users and $1.40 for Android users. Please note that this amount does not include the subscription to Apple services.

Clearly, an iPhone user is up to 7.4 times more valuable to software companies than the average Android user. Dediu sees potential and big money in Vision Pro applications and expresses optimism about the Apple Vision Pro project, suggesting that it could generate up to 10 times more revenue.

As we anticipate the arrival of VR technology, the idea of increasing the average spend from $10 per month for mobile work needs to perhaps $100 per month for an immersive 360-degree 3D VR experience does not sound unrealistic.

However, even for users who are willing to pay more than $3,500 for a single pair of headphones, that amount is quite high. Nevertheless, Dediu is right in saying that the key to all of this is attracting customers who are willing to spend the most on apps, and Apple seems to have enviable success in doing so, according to 9to5Mac.

Do these numbers apply to you? What is your attitude towards buying apps, and do you buy them at all?