A new analysis has shown that iPhone users spend seven times more on apps than Android users, far higher than the 4x rule of thumb suggested by purely anecdotal data.
The more accurate metric was made possible by the far greater data companies must now report, to comply with legal requirements …
Asymco’s Horace Dediu, noted for his painstakingly detailed Apple-related analyses, said that before this data was available, he relied on a simple rule of thumb.
At least 10 years ago, I began to hear anecdotes from developers who built apps for both iOS and Android about their economics. The story is that they tended to have twice as many users using Android but that iPhone App Store revenues were roughly twice those of Google Play Store.
From that I devised a rule of thumb that an iPhone user was about 4 times more valuable than an Android user. Half the users, paying 4 times as much means double the income.
iPhone users spend seven times more
A decade later, there’s a lot more data available. Dediu says this has enabled him to reach what he believes is a far more accurate number.
Apple claims 650 million active App Store users while Google claims 2.5 billion active users. That makes the global ratio closer to 4x Android. […]
The ratio between revenues has kept remarkably steady, with 2016 revenues at a Apple:Google ratio of 29:15 (1.93) and 2022 at a ratio of 81:42 (1.93) […]
Thus we can compare the app revenue per user of the two platforms by dividing global revenue number by the global user numbers.
That equates to a monthly revenue per user of $10.40 for iPhone users, and $1.40 for Android users. And that doesn’t include subscriptions to Apple services!
So the picture becomes clearer. The iPhone customer is 7.4 times more valuable [to developers] than the Android customer.
Dediu sees big bucks in Vision Pro apps
Dediu also expresses his optimism toward Vision Pro, suggesting that this could generate 10 times the income.
As we look forward to Spatial Computing, the idea of increasing that spend from $10/month for a small glass rectangle in your palm to perhaps $100/month for an immersive 360-degree 3D experience does not sound too crazy.
That seems more of a stretch to me, even among people paying upwards of $3,500 for the headset. But he’s certainly right that key to all of this is attracting those customers willing to spend the most on apps, and Apple has an enviable track record of doing just that.
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