A new research report from Canalys took a look at the four leading mobile app stores -- Apple's App Store, Google Play, BlackBerrry World and the Windows Phone Store -- and came away with some interesting data.
During the first quarter of 2013, Canalys found that the number of worldwide mobile downloads grew by 11 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Cumulatively, the number of downloads across all app stores checked in at 13.4 billion.
As for revenue, the first three months of 2013 saw the four leading mobile app stores rack up approximately US$2.2 billion in revenue, a figure which accounts for paid apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions. The figure also represents a 9 percent increase compared to revenue tallied during the first quarter of 2012.
Those are certainly impressive figures, but it's not as if mobile app revenue is distributed equally across all app stores.
On the contrary, the report notes that Apple's iTunes App Store accounted for 74 percent of the $2.2 billion figure. Once Apple's 70-30 split with developers is taken into account, that leaves Apple with a cool $660 million.
With respect to overall downloads, Google's Play store took the top spot, accounting for about 51 percent of the 13.4 billion downloads. Apple, meanwhile, was a close second.
As for BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store, well let's just say that they have a lot of catching up to do. With the iPhone and Android devices accounting for the bulk of smartphone sales, one really struggles to see how either store can get back into what effectively has become a two-horse race.
Commenting on the data, Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd noted:
Apple's App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored.
The last time Apple officially commented on figures from the iTunes App Store was this past January when the company announced that customers had cumulatively downloaded over 40 billion apps from the App Store. Impressively, 20 billion of those downloads came in 2012 alone. Apple also added that there are now over 775,000 apps available for iOS users worldwide and over 500 million active iTunes accounts.
To date, Apple has paid over $8 billion to developers.