For those of you looking for a quick takeaway, check out the two graphs below. What you see is that Apple is miles out in front of everybody else and also growing faster, both in terms if applications available, which I think is probably a reasonable proxy for ecosystem strength and sales. Apple’s dominance is almost monopolistic.
Android is making up ground, and Google will be encouraged by their strong Q4-09 OS market share data, but to say they are nowhere near Apple would nit be an understatement. The Distimo report highlights the difficulty of the Android payment system in comparison with Apple’s as a key concern for developers. As we move more towards lower price and free games with a complex array of in-app transactions the range and ease of payment options will become an important battleground between app stores as they compete for the hearts and minds of developers. I think they will increasingly be built into SDKs.
There are some more titbits in this presentation that Distimo gave to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. Apparently there are now 1,600 developers with apps in multiple app stores and free app Tap Tap Revenge III did more revenue in January this year via in game transactions than FIFA 2010 which has a one off cost of $6.99.