Apple’s (s aapl) market share may be slipping, but its share of app revenue is huge and not looking like it will slide anytime soon, according to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster (via Fortune). (s twx) According to public data from Apple, and AndroLib, which tracks Android Market (s goog) information, Munster figures Apple owns about 85 to 90 percent of current mobile app spending. While he’s measuring lifetime revenue, which provides Apple with an advantage, the discrepancy is larger than be explained by the App Store’s head start alone.
With numbers like that, iOS device owners have nothing to fear when it comes to the possibility of developers fleeing en masse to Android as it becomes the world’s dominant mobile operating system. And it looks like Apple will retain that crown for a long time, too, even if trends continue to favor Android: Munster suggests Apple will keep more than 70 percent of mobile app revenue share for the next three or four years.
Why? Android apps just don’t make anywhere near as much money through Google’s Market, nor are they downloaded as often. By Munster’s calculations, the Android Market has around 6,750,000,000 downloads to date, compared to Apple’s 18,566,331,811. Those have resulted in respective gross revenues of $341,765,335 and $4,939,611,127 respectively. Of the gross revenue, developers have seen $239,235,734 from the Market, while $3,457,727,789 has been paid out to those making software for iOS. Percentage-wise, paid apps account for only 1.3 percent of Android apps, vs 13.5 percent for iOS.
The difference is striking, and will mean Apple’s platform is likely to continue to hold a strong lead over Google’s when it comes to the breadth and depth of software selection. It also means Apple isn’t likely to freak out if Google moves a few more devices per year than it does; a strong ecosystem should keep customers coming back in strong enough numbers to keep iOS device and software revenue extremely high despite dwindling market share.