Apple and Google drive out the competition with default app offerings

If you use an iPhone or Android device, then most of your mostly used apps were made by either Apple or Google respectively. A new Comscore study has revealed that preinstalled iOS and Android apps like Apple’s Messages are highly ranked in terms of usage. The study shows that the majority of apps people use on their phones in the US come preinstalled by either Apple or Google. Interestingly, this study was supported by one of Apple’s loudest critic, Facebook.

For every OS, basic apps like that of weather, photos, and clocks, etc. which are preinstalled in the device tend to dominate. The research points out that in these categories it is very difficult for other apps to compete.

As of now, both Apple and Google are increasingly under scrutiny for how they favor their services over other competitors so, for Facebook, the timing could not have been better. US lawmakers are reviewing a new set of bills designed to curb the monopoly power of Big Techs. The criticism is harsher against Apple than against Google.

The study argued that neither Apple nor Google disclose numbers for default apps so it is difficult to know how popular these preinstalled apps are relative to apps made by third-party developers.

In general, numerous research firms regularly track the popularity of apps available for download in app stores but this research is a one of its kind because almost no researchers earlier shed light on and charted how default mobile apps compete against third party apps.

Comscore gathered data from apps, websites, surveys during November 2020. The results show that 75 percent of the top 20 apps on iOS in the US were made by Apple. The figure is 60 percent for Google’s Android.

Technically, Facebook is perhaps the only outside developer with more than one app offering on the iOS list and three apps on the Android list. The study has found 78 million people used Apple’s Calculator app. The figure is astonishingly more than the Gmail users on Android.

Apple has rejected the report’s findings. An Apple spokesperson said, “This Facebook-financed survey from December 2020 was narrowly tailored to give the false impression that there’s little competition on the App Store. In truth, third-party apps compete with Apple’s apps across every category and enjoy large scale success.”

He even said that the survey methodology of the study is “seriously flawed in a number of ways”. As of now, Google has not responded or made any comment in this regard.

Michael Turner
Michael Turner is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.