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Android Apps On Track To Beat iOS App Store In App Spending, Report Says

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Android will usurp Apple in terms of mobile app spending, according to a new report by App Annie. This of course talks about the revenue generated from mobile apps this year, with the firm's estimate also inclusive of not just the Play Store, but other third-party Android app stores as well.

Android App Stores Will Beat The Apple App Store

However, without these third-party stores, Apple will still take the lead, the firm's forecast states, and such a lead is expected to remain at least through 2021. The report also goes on to add that it's expecting mobile app downloads to surpass 352 billion in 2021, with gross consumer spend across all app stores to hop past $139 billion.

The App Store is expected to generate $60 billion of that total spending, according to App Annie. Google Play will generate $42 billion; third-party Android app stores will generate a whopping $36 billion by 2021. Helping Android bump up the mobile app revenue is mostly China, where users can access app stores through internet brands such as Tencent, Xiaomi, Huawei, Baidu, among others. Those third-party Android stores made about $10 billion in 2016, reports CNBC. This will double to $20 billion this year, as per the firm's forecast.

"What a lot of people don't realize is how huge China is," Danielle Levitas, senior VP of research at App Annie, said. "Even if device sales slow, it's the biggest smartphone channel, and that's not going to change."

China's Emerging Mobile App Market

China's ballooning middle class and colossal population render it an important element in the broad sphere of app store revenues. But its market is maturing, according to App Annie. Majority of app users in China are expected to nestle in habitual patterns by 2021, which will pave the way for consistent revenue growth, even if download rates slow.

Downloads in China will also experience a growth spurt, at an annualized rate of 19 percent from 2016 to 2021, with consumer spend growing 24 percent at $56.5 billion. This is interesting, since larger Chinese cities are already saturated, which means the growth will most likely stem from other regions.

The top countries in terms of mobile app downloads are China, India, United States, Brazil, and Indonesia, accounting for 54 percent of all downloads last year. The rankings won't change much through 2021, the report states.

The firm's estimates are based on a model which observes data culled from major publishers, economic conditions, discussions with stakeholders, and past trends and performances. While the firm also looks into consumer spending, it doesn't take into consideration other possible sources of revenue, such as advertising.

While its estimates give a preview of what may come, it's interesting to note how other key elements will ultimately help the actual numbers, for instance, Google Play being integrated into Chrome OS — Google's proprietary operating system powering all Chromebooks in the market. If Android apps finally run on these devices with nary a hiccup, as present situations don't exactly allure, it could make for an interesting picture of the mobile app market in the long run.

Thoughts about Android beating out iOS in terms of mobile app spending? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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