In a latest report coming out today, App Annie has predicted that Android will lead Apple in terms revenue generated by mobile apps this year. Until now, iOS has led the charts in this prospect, largely because of how selective its app store is, and how most of the apps are paid. However Android seemed to have played the catching game well, at least in this regard.

However, this comes with a catch. App Annie’s estimates include third party app stores as well, in addition to Google Play. So if Apple’s app store is simply matched against Google Play, Apple will most probably maintain its lead till 2021, says the report.

App Annie, which is worlds #1 in deciding mobile app economy, has estimated that the count of  worldwide mobile app downloads will exceed  352 billion in 2021, with overall expenditure of customers across all the app stores will surpass $139 billion.

A major part of this expenditure will come from the iOS  App Store, which is expected to raise over  $60 billion in 2021. Google Play will account for $42 billion, whereas the third-party stores will generate , $36 billion.

The third party stores, which include Android apps from  Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, Huawei, and others generated a revenue of $10 billion last year, and the reports estimate that thee figures will grow to $20 billion in 2017.

The market of Android apps is growing at a significant pace, all thanks to its adoption in the major mobile market of China, as well as other growing markets in Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. App Annie has confirmed that the app downloads are distributed evenly around the globe, but the revenue generated from them is a different factor.

Its data figures tell that China, India, U.S., Brazil, and Indonesia are the top five countries in terms of app download and accounted for 54% of the downloads last year. The same is expected to remain that way, till 2021.

But if we talk about revenue, in 2016, China, U.S., Japan, South Korea, and U.K. alone accounted for  75 percent of app store revenue. Interestingly, these figures will grow up to 85% in 2021.

This enhancement will be the result of increased game subscription among existing smartphone users  in mature markets like the U.S., Japan, and South Korea and most importantly in maturing markets of China.

Download rates in China are expected to grow at an annualized rate of 19% between 2016 to 2021 and the consumer expenditure will rise by  24 percent to $56.5 billion. India, is however at at a very early phase of smartphone marketing, and is expected to grow 28 percent to almost  23 billion by 2021. The app store expenditure will grow at an exceptional annualized rate  of 75 percent to $2.1 billion.

Though India has a huge market potential, App Annie points that the growth will remain low in this region because of peoples limited expenditure power, and the culture which believes in saving rather than spending on games and entertainment.

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