New research on mobile app stores in 2011 has found that both the Apple App Store for iPad and the Apple App Store for iPhone generate more revenue than the Google Android Market.
According to app market analyst Distimo, the top 200 apps in the App Store for iPhone alone generated four times more revenue than the top 200 apps in the Google Android Market in the US in 2011.
Consumers voraciously downloaded free apps this year and proved to developers that the "freemium" app model -- where developers give out their app for free but generate revenue from in-app purchases -- is not only sustainable, but is a great way to make money.
"Half of the revenue of the 200 top grossing apps in the Apple App Store for iPhone is now generated by freemium apps. This proportion is even higher in the Google Android Market where 65% of the revenue from the top grossing apps is generated by freemium apps," said Distimo in its Full Year App Stores Report for 2011.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Marketplace showed the largest relative growth when compared to all the other app stores. While almost all app stores more than doubled the number of available apps year-on-year, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace grew by more than 400 %.
The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has become the fourth largest app store in terms of available games, overtaking both RIM’s BlackBerry App World and the Nokia Ovi Store.
Overall the App Store for iPhone has the biggest number of available apps in the US followed by the Android Market and the App Store for iPad. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World narrowly overtook Nokia’s Ovi Store in November. The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and the Amazon Appstore are sixth and seventh on the list.
Rumors suggest that Microsoft is considering merging its Windows Phone Marketplace and the Windows 8 Store.