Android leads European app market

3 December 2012

BERLIN: Some 800m mobile apps are now downloaded across Europe's biggest markets each month, with Google's Android taking a significant lead over Apple's iPhone.

According to a study by madvertise, the ad network, and xyo, a mobile search tool, consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK downloaded 790m apps in September, up by 43% on January, but down from 809m in September.

When analysing individual operating systems, gadgets using Apple's iOS – namely, the iPhone – saw their volume share fall from 53% in the first month of the year to 30% in the ninth.

Google Android, the only other operating system assessed by the study, and which is deployed on a far wider range of handsets, thus logged an increase from 47% to 70% on this measure.

By market, the UK delivered the highest figures overall, with 277m downloads, equivalent to just over four apps for every citizen on a per capita basis. Android yielded 207m of the total, compared with 70m for iOS.

Second place on this metric went to Germany, with 168m offerings installed on mobile devices, a slightly lower per capita rating of two. Android again led in volume terms on 122m, with iOS on 46m.

Turning to Spain, Android held its highest share overall, supplying 93m of the 127m downloads, with Apple on 27m. Their collective returns equated to 2.6 apps per person.

Games were also found to be losing ground to communications apps in the top ten download lists. Facebook, the social network, WhatsApp, a messaging service, and Viber, a free calls and texting platform, were among the leading tools.

A separate study from madvertise and AppZapp, a guide to the best tools in Apple's App Store, discovered that in the five aforementioned markets and Turkey, an average of 47% of iPhone apps commanded a fee.

This figure rose to 51% for the iPad, perhaps because the audience for these devices is largely younger and wealthier than for other tablets, and often the most digitally engaged.

Looking at the UK, it was reported that 281k of the 532k apps available could be accessed without charge, whereas 252k required a fee.

Data sourced from madvertise; additional content by Warc staff