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Android Google Play rapidly gaining on iOS App Store

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Android Google Play app sales are rapidly catching up on Apple's App Store sales for iOS.

iOS still commands a sizeable lead when it comes to app ecosystems, but Android is growing at a far higher rate. That's according to app store analytics firm App Annie, as reported by Talk Android.

According to the report, iOS apps are on average four times as profitable as Android apps. However, that's a massive improvement on how it used to be.

While iOS app revenue has grown only 12.9 per cent over the past year year, Android app revenue has grown 17.9 per cent in the last month alone, and 311 per cent over the year.

You might think that Android's Google Play store produces more free app downloads - it certainly feels that way at times - but the figures suggest that iOS experienced 10 per cent more free app downloads over the year. Perhaps people were all spent-out on their new iPhone 5 contracts.

Again, though, the Android ecosystem is growing much faster in the free app field - 48 per cent over the past five months compared to Apple's 3.3 per cent growth in the same period.

App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt summarises the report nicely when he says: "The gap between global revenue on iOS and Google Play is still there, but the gap is shrinking every month, creating more opportunities for publishers to generate significant revenue growth in several countries on Google Play."

Elsewhere, Japan has overtaken the US to become the biggest market for Android apps, while a massive influx of low-cost Android smartphones into India is turning it into a major app-downloading territory.

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