Sensor Tower: Global App Store Spending on Christmas Day 2019 Hit a Record $193 Million

Consumer spending on the App Store totaled a record $193 million on Christmas Day 2019, representing a 16 percent increase year on year, according to a new report by Sensor Tower.


Approximately $84 million was spent on the Google Play store, representing year-on-year growth of 2.7 percent. Apple's ‌App Store‌ accounted for 70 percent of spending between the two platforms, which amounted to $277 million combined.

That total represented combined year-over-year growth of 11.3 percent for the two stores, which brought in $249 million combined in user spending on Christmas Day in 2018.

Sensor Tower says the increase in spending was largely due to new mobile device owners and people who received ‌App Store‌ gift cards, with games being the most popular purchase.

The majority of mobile spending on Christmas, approximately $210 million, was focused on the Games category, which generated 76 percent of revenue across both stores and grew about 8 percent Y/Y from $195 million. PUBG Mobile from Tencent’s TiMi studio led in-game spending with $8.5 million, up 431 percent from the $1.6 million players spent in the game on Christmas 2018.
Other apps accounted for approximately 2 percent more of all spending this Christmas compared to a year prior, bringing in an estimated $67 million. The top non-game app for overall spending on Christmas was reportedly the dating app Tinder, which brought in a gross global revenue near $2.1 million.

The ‌App Store‌ makes up a huge portion of Apple's services business. It currently receives a 30 percent cut of all revenue that developers earn from the ‌App Store‌, with the exception of subscription apps. For apps where a customer maintains a subscription for more than a year, developers are entitled to an 85/15 split, with Apple taking a 15 percent cut rather than a 30 percent cut.

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7 weeks ago

There's way more Android devices for every Apple device sold. The Google Play revenue is pitiful compared to Apple's. I wonder if Android users have a culture of not-wanting-to-pay for apps, or if some other big factor like piracy is involved.


It’s the same reason why Google pays Apple so much money every year to keep Google search the default engine in Safari. Through the iPhone, Apple has aggregated the best customers (those with the highest propensity to spend). So iphone users by and large are more willing to spend on content.

There is also the issue of higher piracy rates on android compared to iOS, which makes app development a lot less profitable on android.

This is what people who keep proselytising the larger android user base don’t get - it’s not more market share in a vacuum that determines how profitable a platform will be, but usage share.
Rating: 6 Votes
7 weeks ago
Play Store only up 2,7%. Apple is really having a wonderful Christmas time.
Rating: 4 Votes
7 weeks ago
There's way more Android devices for every Apple device sold. The Google Play revenue is pitiful compared to Apple's. I wonder if Android users have a culture of not-wanting-to-pay for apps, or if some other big factor like piracy is involved.
Rating: 4 Votes
7 weeks ago
China. That's the primary explanation you both seemed to overlook. For a bit of perspective: Active Android devices in China - 731 million... and that was in 2018. That's more than twice the population of the entire US.


There's way more Android devices for every Apple device sold. The Google Play revenue is pitiful compared to Apple's. I wonder if Android users have a culture of not-wanting-to-pay for apps, or if some other big factor like piracy is involved.

There are way more devices, but most of them contribute no revenue to the Play Store. The Play Store gets no revenue from the #1 Android market in the world: China. That revenue goes to Chinese companies like Tencent, Baidu, and Xiaomi.


It’s the same reason why Google pays Apple so much money every year to keep Google search the default engine in Safari... {snipped for brevity and clarity}

Not only does the Play Store not get any revenue from the largest Android market, they it also competes with the individual stores from each of the handset makers. Oh, and Amazon. Play Store doesn't get any revenue from Amazon's flavor of Android.

The reasons you guys speculated would fall waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down the list of contributing factors. China is the answer. Imagine Apple's App Store revenue without China.
Rating: 3 Votes
7 weeks ago
Logic says iPhone should be available for free or for a ridiculously low price, cross-financed by Games and Services, providing the iOS platform to more people.

Reality however shows that iOS customers love to spend big
Rating: 1 Votes
7 weeks ago
And how many devices were sold on Christmas Day? Soooo that like 5 99¢ apps per device?
Rating: 1 Votes
7 weeks ago
I wonder if www.altstore.io ('http://www.altstore.io') will affect Apple’s App Store revenue at all next year since it provides an alternative App Store on iOS. After all, the Google Play Store revenue per user (lots of devices) is small because apps like Fortnite can be distributed elsewhere.
Rating: 1 Votes
6 weeks ago


I wonder if www.altstore.io ('http://www.altstore.io') will affect Apple’s App Store revenue at all next year since it provides an alternative App Store on iOS. After all, the Google Play Store revenue per user (lots of devices) is small because apps like Fortnite can be distributed elsewhere.


All apps on this store have been created violating Apple's developer license contract. So you can be quite sure that all the app certificates will be revoked soonish, and the apps will stop working. The only way to distribute apps permanently outside the App Store is the customer getting an Enterprise Developer License for $299 a year, and then they can install their own apps on every device owned or controlled by their company.
Rating: 1 Votes
7 weeks ago


Is it your contention that the "reasons" you and others have mentioned have a greater affect on the Play Store revenue than lack of access to the Chinese market? If so, silly.

They are the #1 reason. The Play Store has over 2.5 billion Android active devices (according to Google). iOS has 1.4 billion active devices (according to Apple). Yet The App Store substantially outperforms the Play Store for App revenues despite the split of users being 64% Android and 36% iOS.

All you're doing by bringing up Chinese third party stores is trying to deflect away from what this article compared, which was revenues from the Play Store vs The App Store.


What the heck are you on about? There's no aggregation of revenue in my quote. I find it hilarious you just created a false claim to argue against. Please don't do that. Whether I am right or wrong, don't make up stuff and attribute it to me.

I'm basing my comment on what you said here and what you've said in the past. Why should I constrain my comments to only one specific thing you've said, instead of your general position based on numerous comments? Especially when you have a habit of creating very carefully worded posts to imply something while never actually committing so when called out you can later deny that's what you meant.

You are flat out wrong in all your comparisons between The App Store and the Play Store (and third party App stores). Since you seem to have forgotten I'll explain it to you again:



The entire point of an ecosystem (Android or iOS) is to have enough users to support the developers who create Apps. You need both, and it's a chicken & egg scenario. Developers won't waste resources creating Apps for a market of non-existent devices. Customers also don't want to buy devices that aren't well supported where they can get all their favorite Apps. Look at Windows Phone for a perfect example of this. The App Store and the Play Store both have a large, healthy ecosystem of developers and users (except for Android tablets, which are dead, but that's another topic).

When a developer for iOS or Android creates a great new App it enhances the ecosystem for each. When an OEM makes a new device that people buy in the millions it also enhances the ecosystem by giving developers another potential target to developer for and the cycle continues improving the ecosystem for both.

The problem with third party Android stores (esp ones in China or India) is they are locked down. Practically all the Apps on Google Play are not available on Tencent, Baidu or other stores. And the reverse also holds true - the vast majority of Apps from Tencent or Baidu aren't available on Google Play. In other words, they do nothing at all to enhance the ecosystem. Each of them are a self-contained ecosystem. They might run Android (or a highly modified and locked down version of it) but they are in no way a part of the Android ecosystem. They contribute nothing to Android users in other ecosystems (like the Play Store) and they get no benefits from the Play Store or OEMs that make devices with Google Play Services.

This is why it's pointless to try and include third party stores (or device manufacturers or carriers) as part of the overall Android ecosystem. They aren't.

That said, I fully understand the desire to compare. It doesn't look good to say Android has 64% of the market and iOS has 36%. It's much better to include phones from locked down ecosystems so you can say Android has 85% and iOS only 15%. Likewise, it looks better to compare revenues from the Play Store and all third party Android stores combined because it doesn't look good to see The App Store continuously outperform the Play Store for App revenues. Any way to move the goalposts to get a win, I guess.
Rating: 1 Votes

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