Apple's App Store celebrated its 5th birthday yesterday July 10th. In total about 50 billion apps have been downloaded and there are now about 900,000 iOS apps available. The Google Play, which is the Android counter-part contains about 800,000 apps. The app industry is predicted to out-size the music industry quite soon.
The revenue that Apple has paid out to developers in the first 5 years is $10 billion. App Store revenues are about 3 times those of Google Play, indicating Android users are less willing to pay for apps. I'll come back to that here below.
Before iPhone and App Store there used to be feature phones. Those could usually download so-called Java apps. Many if not most of those were for free. They were available from different sites. Downloading usually worked, but the downloading experience was un-perfect to say the least. You might pay for an app that didn't actually run on your device. Also the screens displaying the apps were way too small. I suspect most users never bothered to download any apps at all and therefore made do with the phone as they bought it.
I'm not surprised Android app revenues are still low, because I haven't met a lot of people who pay for their Android apps. How come? My hypothesis is that Android devices are sold at all sorts of price levels, and the top-selling devices are the cheap ones. I would guess that Samsung S3 devices generate more app revenues than the rock-bottom devices. If you instead of a Samsung S3 buy a very cheap device you may not want to spend any money on apps, because cost is top priority. Never mind that the app's price is a fraction of the price of a cup of coffee, the phone will not be allowed to cost more than you already paid for it. Well except for the odd accessories like a display shield, headset, case, stylus, etc. iPhone owners seem to differ in that respect. They've bought the best and most expensive device and they're willing to top it up with both accessories and apps.