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For Apple’s and Google’s app stores, the money’s in the games

February 25, 2015, 2:04 PM UTC

Games are bigger money makers for Apple and Google than you might think.

Among the takeaways in a joint IDC/App Annie report Wednesday:

  • The number of smartphones and tablets used worldwide for gaming topped 1 billion for the first time in 2014.
  • Google Play’s revenue from games grew more than 75% last year. On Apple’s App Store gaming revenue grew more than 30%.
  • Game spending on iOS and Android each exceeds that of Nintendo and Sony’s handheld consoles.
  • Games accounted for more than 80% iOS and Google Play consumer app spending last quarter.
  • In the second half of 2014, this share topped 90% on Google Play.


Below: IDC and App Annie’s fever chart.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.46.25 AM

Click to enlarge.

The report follows Tuesday’s IDC press release that had Apple’s share of worldwide smartphone market growing 46% in Q4 2014. Together, iOS and Android captured more than 96% of last year’s smartphone sales.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.