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Apple iOS App Store continues dominance over Google Play in earnings battle, gap widening

While iOS App Store purchase volume may be losing ground from a marketshare perspective by number of downloads, Apple continues to dominate the market in consumer spending by a wide margin and still growing.

According to new data published by analytical firm App Annie, the app store market as a whole is growing by 15 percent per year in number of downloads. Google Play leads the charge gaining at 20 percent year over year with games being the main driver, and holds a 135 percent lead over Apple's iOS App Store.

The gap is driven by emerging markets, as well as the overall lower selling price of Android smartphones. App Annie expects the increase in total downloads, as well as the widening gap between Apple's iOS App Store and Google Play to continue for some time.

Apple's download total still grew by 5 percent. China continues to be the driving force behind the growth, with Russia seeing the largest market share growth, and India coming in third.

Number of downloads isn't the only metric that app stores can be measured by. Apple continues to hold 95 percent more of the money spent on apps, even with the disparity in total downloads.

In the year ago quarter, Apple opened its lead up by five percent, with the second quarter of 2016 seeing Apple holding a 90 percent lead over Google Play. Both app stores saw significant growth in consumer spend year over year with iOS and Google Play growing 35 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

China remains the largest growth market for consumer spending. As with download totals, games remain the largest contributor to spending, followed closely by video and music streaming apps. It is not clear if Apple Music subscriptions are included in App Annie's totals.

App Annie Intelligence consumer spend estimates represent the total consumer spend on both the iOS App Store and Google Play prior to fees taken out by Apple and Google. Amazon's store, and other Android app stores are not included.

Consumer spend estimates reflect what consumers spend in app stores for paid downloads and in-app purchases including subscriptions. They do not include revenue earned from in-app advertising.