The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS App Store generates 2.6 times more revenues than Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Play Store. Yes, that’s true, despite Android smartphones leading the market globally. However, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Store is rapidly catching up with App Store in terms of downloads and app volume.

app store

A study conducted by App Annie analyzes how the world’s two largest app stores fare against each other. The study revealed that Apple’s iOS App Store generated 2.6 times more revenues than Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Store. In November 2012, the revenue gap was four times. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store revenues increased by 25 percent during the quarter, but Google Play recorded a massive 90 percent revenue increase from Q4, 2012 to Q1, 2013. Despite higher percentage growth in Google Play revenues, the absolute revenue growth was higher for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as it already has much higher revenues.

In terms of total app downloads, Play Store is rapidly catching up. In the first quarter, Google Play app downloads reached about 90 percent of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s App Store downloads. Not so long ago, Google Play was just a fraction of App Store’s size.

The study also gave some important insights into the best categories and geographical locations where app developers can maximize revenues. For iOS, top countries for revenues were the United States, Japan, UK, China and Australia. And the highest number of apps were downloaded from App Store in the following countries: United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan and France. China’s importance is also growing in terms of revenues. The Chinese love games, which accounted for about 90 percent of App Store’s total revenues from China.

For Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Store, the top five markets in terms of downloads were the United States, South Korea, India, Russia and Japan. But most of the revenues for Play Store came from Japan, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down 5.98 percent to $400.77, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares were down 1.56 percent to $781.81 at 3:24 PM EDT.