View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
April 3, 2012updated 23 Aug 2016 3:00pm

In-app purchases becoming dominant in mobile commerce

In-app purchases are proving a boon for app developers, boosting revenues for both developers and app store owners such as Google and Apple.

By Allan Swann

Purchases made inside apps on smartphone and tablet devices now account for 60 percent of all revenue among the 200 highest-grossing applications in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace (now renamed Google Play).

The research was commissioned by analyst firms CCS Insight and Distimo, as part of its joint report App VU Global.

The iPhone and iPad app stores generated daily revenue of $3.3 million and $2.1 million respectively in January 2012. Google Play saw a 31% rise in daily revenue across the same period, to $679,000.

"The strong growth in downloads and revenue for Apple and Android comes at a time when consumers typically rein back their spending after Christmas", said Paolo Pescatore, Director of Applications and Content at CCS Insight.

Apple announced last month that more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store. Apple claims its store has 585,000 apps available to more than 315 million ‘i-devices’ worldwide. By comparison, Android has 450,000 apps available to the estimated 300 million devices worldwide.

A surge of in-app purchases was behind much of the growth. Buying extra levels or features within a game or application is rapidly becoming the principal form of spending in this area. More companies are releasing locked, or ‘free’ versions of their apps for users to trial. Once payment has been received, the app unlocks fully.

The revenue generated in-app increased to 73 percent for the top 200 highest-grossing apps, and a staggering 79 percent for the top 200 iPhone apps.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Other platforms are racing to secure third position behind the two leaders, with Amazon and Microsoft recording the biggest growth in catalogue size.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.