Blog Post

iPhone is for games; Android is for other apps

IPhone (s aapl) and Android phones (s goog) are two different platforms, and app search firm Xyologic is bringing that point home again with an analysis of the top apps on both platforms. Xyologic found that of the top 150 apps downloaded on each platform in 2011, 85 of the 150 on Android leaned toward non-gaming apps, while 100 of the top 150 apps on the iPhone were games.

Non-gaming apps on Android generated 91.5 million downloads in November compared to 33.4 million for games. Meanwhile on the iPhone, games in November generated 71.6 million downloads while other apps received 25.6 million downloads.

Android was actually even more tilted in favor of apps in 2010, with 116 of the top 150 apps being non-games. The iPhone used to be more balanced with 79 of the top apps being games compared to 71 percent for non-gaming apps.

Now, all but one of the top downloaded publishers on iPhone are gamemakers except for Instagram maker Burbn. On Android, the top 25 developers on Android were a mix of gaming and non-gaming publishers with Google at the head of the class. Google only had two apps on Android Market in 2010, Google Maps and Google Sky, but now the company has many more available on Android.

Here’s the list of the top 25 downloaded publishers on Android in 2011 according to Xyologic:
GoogleFacebookRovioAdobe, (s adbe) DroidHen CasualOutfit7Magma MobileGlu MobileGo Dev TeamKittehface SoftwareSkype, (s msft) NotesNikolay AnanievSwiss CodemonkeysNHN CorporationYahoo, (s yhoo) HandcentPandora, (s p) Al Factory LimitedKaufcom Games Apps WidgetsVerizon Wireless, (s vz)(s vod) RunnergamesBackflip StudiosPolarbit.

And here’s the list of the top 25 downloaded publishers on the iPhone in 2011:

Glu Mobile, GameloftBig Fish Games, Rovio, Capcom, Chilingo  Storm8/(TeamLava), Outfit7, Electronic Arts/Electronic Arts BV, (s erts) Gamevil, Halfbrick Studios, DeNa/(Backflip Studios/Ngmoco), Zynga/Newtoy, (s znga) NaturalMotion, Pocket Gem/(Streetview Labs), Tencent, NimbleBit, PopCap, Playforge, Clickgamer, Com2uS, Burbn, Orangenose Studios.

This might not be news to some developers, who are aware of the relative strengths of each platform. But it’s interesting to again see how each platform differs, where the trends are going and where the opportunities lie. The iPhone is really becoming a powerful gaming device, but Android is more of a broad provider of utilities and services.

13 Responses to “iPhone is for games; Android is for other apps”

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  2. Bradley Thompson

    mr kim has helped us with half the facts. luckily his future wont be in editorial or opinion columns. kim’s nack for telling us only part of a situation make him an obvious candidate for a congressional aide, lobbiest, or TV political commentator. you can choose your own initials, CNN, MSNBC, and yes dad even Fox. are the interns writing the stories with everyone on vacation ?

  3. Martin Hill

    Indeed, iOS has 10x more top tier game titles from the big game publishers ID, EA, Gameloft, NgMoco, PopCap, so it’s not surprising Android users don’t download as many games – they just don’t exist on that platform.

    Notice instead the fact that carrier crapware is listed as being downloaded by Android users.

  4. Android sells hardly any apps when compared against iOS. Really this comparison is grossly flawed. iOS sells more productivity apps that adrois sells game and productivity apps combined. To the average android user, the android is just a phone with mail and web browsing.

    • Frankly dude you really don’t know what you are talking about – best keep quiet, your ignorance is showing.

      As for the blogger of this piece I really feel for him and I believe he wrote this piece just to get eyeball, sad.

  5. The Gnome

    Lets see… because Android has sucky games it becomes the “for other apps” os? I wonder if the author has ever used an iphone. THe slew of photography apps… music, productivity…. and people who actually buy them. Good thing the author isn’t being graded on this F- effort.

  6. Jason Simanek

    But as far as paid apps go, would the relatively low percentage of non-game apps on iOS still generate more revenue than the larger percentage of non-game apps on Android? After all, you are talking about what developers should consider. If they aren’t considering revenue potential, then these numbers really don’t matter.