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Google Play catching up with iOS App Store in volume, trails in revenue

The App Annie Index market report for the first quarter of 2013 is out, showing some fascinating trends. While the Android-centric Google Play app store is seeing continued growth in download volume, the iOS App Store dominates revenues, earning almost 2.6 times the app revenue of Google Play.

Almost half of the total iOS downloads were from four countries -- the US, China, United Kingdom and Japan. Not surprisingly, those four countries were also responsible for the most revenue from the iOS App Store, followed by Australia.

App Annie analysts noted that games were the big growth driver for the iOS App Store and made up almost 40 percent of downloads in the first quarter. One fascinating trend is that the Photo and Video category moved up to the No. 3 spot during the quarter, leading this blogger to wonder if that trend reflects increased usage of the iPhone as a primary camera.

Games were also the top category in the iOS App Store by revenue, followed by Productivity, Social Networking, Education and Entertainment apps. How big are games as a revenue generator for iOS? Almost 70 percent of App Store revenue came from firing birds at pigs and slaying raiding zombies.

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