iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple’s Apps, Apple Says

Numerama read a 47-page report commissioned by Apple on the iPhone app economy. If the latter pleads unsurprisingly in favor of the App Store model, it reveals many new data.

In France, did you know that Spotify is twice as popular as Apple Music? Conversely, did you imagine that WhatsApp and Messenger, despite their incredible popularity in Europe, come behind iMessage in most countries, including France? In a fascinating 47-page report, the research firm “Analysis Group” reveals the conclusions of its investigation of the app economy around the world.

If Apple is the company that commissioned this study, its conclusions do not always caress the mark in the direction of the hair, which leads us to believe that the whole thing was carried out with objectivity. Even though Analysis Group reveals the weaknesses of Apple’s services, the brand has nevertheless decided to highlight the investigation of its newsroom, probably to prove to the authorities that the model of its App Store does not benefit it that much.

A time-based methodology

Before presenting some of the results presented in this study (which we recommend if you are interested in the digital economy and you understand English well), let us specify that the data presented concern only iPhone users. Even if the survey speaks a little about Android (we learn in particular that 32% of developers design games on iOS, against 31% on Android), most of the interesting figures only concern users of an Apple device.

To calculate the utilization rates for each application, Analysis Group has decided not to consider their uploads. Only the time spent each day in an application and the number of daily users count in its methodology, which is mostly based on estimates.

This table shows that Apple’s applications, excluding messaging, are rarely the most popular. // Source: AnalysisGroup

Unpublished figures on applications in France

In its survey, Analysis Group does not just say how the App Store has made thousands of developers rich. The most interesting concerns the use of apps, with a country-by-country focus, taking into account local specificities. For example, in France, Deezer is the very example of a national success. Very unpopular elsewhere, the application is used as much as Apple Music here. Analysis Group has made the effort to take an interest in all these specificities, which makes its survey more relevant.

The music broadcast

Let’s start with music streaming. Even though Apple Music is pre-installed on millions of iPhones, Spotify is used 1.6 times more than Apple and Deezer apps here. Apple Music represents only 22% of French iPhone users and is not the majority in almost any country, with the exception of Japan. There, for some reason beyond us, 55% of iPhone owners use it. In all other European countries, Spotify is number one.

iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple's Apps, Apple Says
The numbers represent the millions of hours spent each day by the French on these applications. // Source: AnalysisGroup

Navigation apps

This phenomenon is even more important with mapping applications, and hurts Apple very badly. Although its application Plans is pre-installed on all iPhones, it is much less used than those of competitors.

2.2 million French men and women use Google Maps every day, 1.3 million use Waze and 1.2 million use Plans. We notice that in all the countries where Google Maps exists, Apple is beaten. This statistic shows that Apple Maps has never succeeded in imposing itself and proves that Apple is not lying when it claims that the App Store does not benefit its applications.

iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple's Apps, Apple Says
Use of mapping apps by country. // Source: AnalysisGroup

Video streaming

Another interesting sector is video streaming. Even though it’s easy to guess that Netflix is ‚Äč‚Äčahead, we never imagined such dominance.

In all countries, except Japan again, Netflix crushes everyone. In France, 2.4 million iPhone users use it every day, compared to 400,000 on Amazon, 300,000 on myCANAL, 170,000 on Disney+ and, surprise, 70,000 on Apple TV+. In all other countries except the United States, Apple TV+ fares much worse. Are the French among the biggest users of Apple’s service? Either way, Netflix’s dominance is such that the competition only seems to be picking up crumbs.

iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple's Apps, Apple Says
sVoD application statistics. // Source: AnalysisGroup

The amazing case of iMessage

Finally, it is undoubtedly the case that surprised us the most in the study, iMessage is the messaging application most used by French iPhone users (13 million of them use it every day ). If this figure is surely distorted by the use of SMS, which go through the same application, the lead seems to us all the same very large compared to WhatsApp (8.1 million), Messenger (6 million), Instagram (5.9 million) and Snapchat (5.7 million). Only in Germany in Europe iMessage is beaten by WhatsApp.

In the United States, we note that iMessage has almost three times more users than Snapchat, the second most used messaging application. Yes, you read that right. There, Snapchat dethrones Messenger and Instagram, probably because it’s only the youngest who don’t have an iPhone.

iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple's Apps, Apple Says
Messaging apps around the world. // Source: AnalysisGroup

Apple has what it takes to defend the App Store

If the Analysis Group study quickly flies over the issue of 30% commission and sideloading, it still gives Apple many arguments to make against the anti-competitive authorities who accuse it of favoring its own services on iPhone. As you can see in the image below, there is not one category in which Apple dominates in the world, with the exception of music in Japan (55%). Everywhere else, the competition together, or alone, does better than its own services.

iPhone Owners Prefer Spotify and Google Maps to Apple's Apps, Apple Says
The percentage of use of Apple applications by categories. // Source: AnalysisGroup

While some bits of the study may make you smile (Analysis Group says 99.99% of App Store apps aren’t made by Apple, which makes sense given the 1.8 million apps on the platform), no study has, to date, provided so many details on the fragmentation of the iOS application market. Although Apple can abuse its power occasionally, it seems that it does not have the power that some imagine it to have.

The only criticism that can be omitted on the content of the survey: why not mention the case of web browsers, the application Telephone or applications to pay with your smartphone (Apple Pay), sectors in which Apple is much less lenient with third-party developers? Here, we doubt that third-party apps are doing as well.

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