A man takes a photograph using his iPhone of members of the public entering a new Apple store during the official opening in Beijing. Reuters/David Gray
After the release of the November App Index by tracking and intelligence company App Annie this week, which claims Apple's apps revenues have only grown by 12.9 percent over the past 12 months, the tech company is determined to set the record straight.
The App Annie Index for November 2012 analyzes Apple's App Store performance over the past 12 months and compares the company's apps revenues with those of Google, claiming that the gap between the two platforms is closing and that while Apple's revenues are still four times higher than Google Play's, Google's revenue has ballooned by 310 percent over the last 12 months, growing another 17.9 percent in the last month alone, while the App Store, having grown revenues by just 12.9 percent over the year, actually experienced a 0.7 percent contraction over the past month.
As journalists started reporting the findings Thursday, Apple started calling publications claiming that rather than 12.9 percent, the App Store has actually experienced 200 percent growth over the last year -- pointing to its quarterly earnings statements and myriad official announcements on the success of its Apps Store and ecosystem over the past four years.
According to its own published figures, in June 2010, two years after the store's launch, Apple had already paid developers $1 billion. By October 2011, this figure had risen to $3 billion and by January 2012 it was $4 billion. And, when it launched the iPad Mini on October 23 this year, it also celebrated hitting the 35 billion app download mark and the payment of $6.5 billion to developers. Meaning that in less than 10 months, it had sold 65 percent as many apps (based on payments to developers) as it had done in the previous three-and-a-half years combined.
So, depending on how calculations are made, the App Store's revenues either grew by 200 percent this year ($1.14 billion average payout per year before 2012), or by 65 percent over 10 months (a percentage of total payments to date). But whichever way the figures are divided, 12.9 percent is not the answer.
The App Annie November 29 report also notes that Japan has overtaken the US as the number-one country for Android app revenue and that the traditional East-West app divide is quickly disappearing. East Asian publishers have been investing heavily in global content and as a result, seven of the top 10 app publishers on Google Play (judged by revenue) are Japanese or South Korean.