Despite 861.5 Percent Growth, Android Market Revenues Remain Puny

You read the headline “Android Market grows a staggering 861.5 per cent”, and you think, “Wow, Android is really on a tear.” But then you look at the fine print, and you realize that Android Market revenues are still barely registering, and that the only reason they grew so much in 2010 was because in 2009 they were nearly non-existent.

According to a chart making the rounds from UK-based research firm IHS, Android Market revenues in 2010 came in at an estimated $102 million, up from $11 million the year before.

And how did that compare to revenues from Apple’s App Store? Apple App Store revenues came in at an estimated $1.7 billion in 2010, almost 20 times bigger than Android. And Apple App Store revenue grew at a not-too-shabby 131.9 percent rate. More importantly, Apple accounts for 83 percent of the total estimated app store revenues.

It’s great that Android app store revenues are growing so fast, but whenever you see such sky-high numbers, be sure to look at what is the base they are growing from. Android will have to keep growing at astounding rates for a few more years simply to catch up to where Apple’s App Store is today.

If you are an app developer trying to make money, you still really don’t have much of a choice about where to put your apps. No wonder Apple feels like it can treat app developers any way it wants, and take an increasing percentage of their revenues.