Originally Posted by Baz_
In fairness, Android probably does still trail iOS in terms of developer revenue overall. Given this it's quite difficult to track and compare, because what works on iOS won't on Android and vice versa.
Without getting into detailed models, both have essentially the same four revenue streams:
- Once-off App Payment.
- In-App purchases.
- 'Offline'. This really covers things like an app that allows you to search for cheap flights, then allows you to book then by calling a number. Or apps that encourage the use of a service (e.g. Monster) that is paid for by third party clients. Money is not made directly 'through' the app.
When mobile analysis firms, like Distimo, tend to look at revenue figures, they'll tend to concentrate on the first two. On that basis, iOS will always dwarf Android, simply because of ownership demographics (iOS owners tend to be older and happy to buy stuff).
Advertising is much harder to measure, because it's not simply AdMob out there, but at this stage dozens of different advertising aggregators in the market, many of whom are category or geographically specialized - indeed, to maximize advertising revenue a good developer would look at the device spec, local and location data and use the advertising API with the best return, rather than sticking to only one aggregator.
In advertising, Android appears to have a significant lead on iOS, in terms of revenue.
Finally, the 'offline' revenue model is by definition impossible to measure, but some companies make a lot of money this way, which would be undetectable to the aforementioned mobile analysis firms.
Given this, my feeling (at best a calculated guess, but I wouldn't stake my life on it) is that all things considered, iOS will on average bring in more revenue than Android. But the gap is not as big as it's often made out to be.
As to whether you should limit yourself to one platform or the other, or both, that really comes down to resources, app complexity and your business model
, but in most cases I'd recommend developing for both (don't be afraid to change the business model according to platform), although not necessarily at the same time.