The iPhone is the domain of the game. Android is the land of the app. 2011 showed some very distinct trends in user activity on the two major mobile platforms. A study done by Xylogic shows that of the top 25 app publishers for iOS, only one does not produce games. On the flip side, of the top 25 for Android, only about half are game publishers.
Burbn, the maker of Instagram, was the only top iOS publisher to not be a gamer. Of the top 10 downloaded app on the App Store in November 2011, only two were apps: Instagram and Pinterest. Why do games perform so much better in the App Store than the Android Market?
Of the top 150 downloads in the Android Market in 2011, 85 were apps against 65 games. Apps were downloaded 91.5 million times against 33.42 million for games. On iOS, 100 games were in the top 150 against 50 games. Games were downloaded 71.57 million times versus 25.64 for apps.
The top publishers in the Android Market were Google, Facebook, Rovio, Adobe, DroidHen Casual, Outfit7, Magma Mobile, Glu Mobile, Go Dev Team, Kittehface Software, Skype, Notes, Nikolay Ananiev, Swiss Codemonkeys, NHN Corporation, Yahoo, Hancent, Pandora, AI Factory Limited, Kaufcom Games Apps Widgets, Verizon Wireless, Runnergames, Backflip studios and Polarbit.
Neither Facebook nor Google make the iOS list. There is a reason that there are now more Android Facebook users than iOS Facebook users. Google had a big year in the apps department with Google Maps, Google Plus and a variety of other apps released from Mountain View.
In contrast, iOS publishers were dominated by games: Glu Mobile, Gameloft, Big Fish Games, Rovio, Capcom, Chilingo, Storm8 (TeamLava), Outfit 7, Electronic Arts, Gamevil, Halfbrick Studios, DeNa (BackFlip/Ngmoco), Zynga/Newtoy, NaturalMotion, Streeview Labs, Tencent, NimbleBit, PopCap, Playforge, Clickgamer, Com2uS, Burbn and Orangenose Studios.
In November 2011, the top iOS download was Words With Friends Free with 3.023 million downloads. The top six downloads were games with Instagram in seventh with 2.116 million downloads. The only other non-game on the list was Pinterest at No. 9.
In contrast, there was only one game in the top 10 on Android in Nov. 2011. That was Defender by Droid with 1.414 million downloads in the No. 8 spot. The top downloaded app was Facebook for Android with 5.335 million downloads. Facebook Messenger was No. 3 with 2.801 million.
To a certain extent, it makes sense that games are downloaded more on iOS. Game developers tend to go to the dominant platform first and the hardware on iOS devices makes it very conducive to making great games. Android is not far behind in that field. There must be some sociological reason that games are much more popular with iOS users. Do they have more spare time? More prone to the groupthink and doing what everyone else is doing? More affluent? Bored?
Developers, perhaps you can answer this question for us. Let us know in comments why games are more popular on iOS and apps the realm of Android.