As usual, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) kicked off yesterday's WWDC opening keynote with a deluge of data and business updates. How can investors interpret all the stats that CEO Tim Cook shared?
900,000 and counting
The iOS App Store is now up to more than 900,000 apps in total, including 375,000 titles that are optimized for the iPad's larger display. While there are plenty of low-quality apps that inevitably make their way in, Apple claims that about 93% of all apps are downloaded each month.
The App Store is approaching its fifth birthday, and Cook rightly pointed out that the repository has revolutionized how people consumer mobile content. Just last month, Apple hit its 50 billionth app download. That's a pretty impressive milestone for a service that didn't exist five years ago.
$10 billion and counting
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) has been making a lot of gains in recent months with Google Play, in terms app count, app downloads, and revenue growth. However, from a developer's perspective, Google still lags significantly in one very important area: monetization. Google Play revenue is growing off of a small base; high growth rates alone don't paint the whole picture.
Apple has now paid out a cumulative total of $10 billion to developers, of which half has been paid in the last year alone. Cook also said that iOS is now nearly three-quarters of all app download revenue, with Android comprising just 20%.
There's third-party data to corroborate this claim. According to app analytics specialist App Annie, Big G is closing the gap in sheer app downloads.
However, total app revenue in dollar terms still isn't even close, with iOS generating 2.6 times as much revenue as Android.
Developer monetization is a critical aspect of ecosystem viability, and Apple wants them to get paid.
575,000,000 and counting
Further stoking speculation that Apple will inevitably get into mobile payments, Cook said that there are now over 575 million active iTunes accounts with credit card information on file. That's a massive number of users, and "more accounts with credit cards than any store on the Internet" that Apple is aware of.
That's significantly more than the 209 million active customer accounts that Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) was boasting at the end of last quarter. Apple has nearly three times as many active accounts than the largest e-commerce company on the planet.
Amazon's mobile payments service is more about allowing third-party sellers to integrate its checkout service into their own mobile websites. It's not about using a Kindle Fire to pay for things at a local merchant. Amazon doesn't have a smartphone (yet), and people aren't likely to use tablets for mobile payments.
If and when Amazon launches a Kindle Phone, it could very well get into real mobile payments with those 209 million accounts. Amazon's entry could be as early as this fall, so Apple should jump in first to beat Amazon to the punch.
It's incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" in The Motley Fool's latest free report, which details the knock-down, drag-out battle being waged by the five kings of tech. Click here to keep reading.