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Why don't Android users buy apps?

  • Trevor Barnes said... (original post)

    Not a diss on the platform, I genuinely don't understand it, especially with the marketshare that Android has. What's the deal?

    "Distimo, the industry leader in app store analytics, just released yet another eye-opening report, this time focused on Android and the Market’s download numbers. The stats are shocking.

    If you are a developer and are targeting the wildly popular Android platform, there are a few things you should know before deciding how to monetize. The following are some of the latest findings of the Distimo report on the Android Market:

    In the Android Market, over the past few years, less than 100 apps have been downloaded at least 5 million times.

    Only Google Maps has been downloaded 50 million times, making it the most popular Android app.

    - 80% of all paid apps have been downloaded less than 100 times until now. - Only two paid Android apps have been downloaded more than a half a million times. In the Apple App Store, 6 apps reach those numbers in two months in the U.S alone. - There are only 5 Android games that cost money and have reached 250,000 downloads. The App Store has ten in the U.S over the past two months alone! - When it comes to reaching the top of the store, only 26 apps achieved a top 10 spot in the Market during April, while 94 reached the top of the App Store.

    Android has more free apps than the app store with Apple. It's because app makers and Android make money off advertisements on their free apps. Google has always been about giving out their product for free and making money off the companies that advertise on it. Apple has been more about covering their ridiculous marketing and logistic costs with overpriced, under performing crap.

  • So, if you went to the store and there was a FREE bag of chips and another bag of chips for $1.99, you would actually BUY the bag instead of taking a free one?

    How does that make ANY sense?

    I don't have a lot of apps, because I don't need a lot of apps. If I NEEDED an app and I had to pay for it, I probably would, but I don't NEED any app, really.

    signature image signature image signature image

    There's a time and a place for everything and it's called college.

  • VanWilder said... (original post)

    Just out of curiosity, what apps do the Iphones have that droid users aren't buying??

    I'm fairly certain i have downloaded over a 100 apps, and haven't paid for a single one yet. What am I missing.. is this a bad thing???

    This. Trevor, care to inform us on what awesome apps we are missing out on (I bet I can find one just as good, for free)?

    I have tons of apps and they all work fine and I am never bothered by ads.

  • 277Gunson said... (original post)

    So, if you went to the store and there was a FREE bag of chips and another bag of chips for $1.99, you would actually BUY the bag instead of taking a free one?

    How does that make ANY sense?

    I don't have a lot of apps, because I don't need a lot of apps. If I NEEDED an app and I had to pay for it, I probably would, but I don't NEED any app, really.

    You don't really NEED the bag of chips either yet snack food accounts for more than $24Billion is sales annually. Same for the game industry - you don't really NEED any games but it is a multi-billion dollar market. There are lots of free games out there so why is anyone buying games? The answer is that there are apps that are not free that people want and are willing to pay for.

  • Dale fn Gribble said... (original post)

    This. Trevor, care to inform us on what awesome apps we are missing out on (I bet I can find one just as good, for free)?

    I have tons of apps and they all work fine and I am never bothered by ads.

    CNN/Fortune just published an article listing the top 14 iPhone apps of all time. So let's look at those:

    #1 Angry Birds - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms
    #2 Moto Chaser - $0.99 on both platforms
    #3 Moron Test - $0.99 on both platforms
    #4 Flight Control - $0.99 on iOS, $2.99 on Android
    #5 iShoot - $0.99 on iOS, $1.99 on Android
    #6 Skee Ball - free and $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android
    #7 Tiny Wings - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android
    #8 Where's Waldo - $0.99 on iOS, $4.99 on Android
    #9 Angry Bird Rio - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms
    #10 Camera Zoom 3 - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android
    #11 Secure AppBox - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android
    #12 iFart Mobile - free and $0.99 versions on iOS, $0.99 on Android
    #13 Ocarina - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android
    #14 Pocket God - $0.99 on both platforms

    Not seeing anything on that list that is free on Android and not on iOS. I do see several that are more expensive on Android or not available at all. So I am not buying the "everything's on Android and it is free" argument.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by CA Sparty 3 years ago

  • CA Sparty said... (original post)

    CNN/Fortune just published an article listing the top 14 iPhone apps of all time. So let's look at those:

    #1 Angry Birds - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms #2 Moto Chaser - $0.99 on both platforms #3 Moron Test - $0.99 on both platforms #4 Flight Control - $0.99 on iOS, $2.99 on Android #5 iShoot - $0.99 on iOS, $1.99 on Android #6 Skee Ball - free and $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #7 Tiny Wings - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #8 Where's Waldo - $0.99 on iOS, $4.99 on Android #9 Angry Bird Rio - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms #10 Camera Zoom 3 - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #11 Secure AppBox - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #12 iFart Mobile - free and $0.99 versions on iOS, $0.99 on Android #13 Ocarina - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #14 Pocket God - $0.99 on iOS, $4.99 on Android

    Not seeing anything on that list that is free on Android and not on iOS. I do see several that are more expensive on Android or not available at all. So I am not buying the "everything's on Android and it is free" argument.

    I know for a fact the Moron test and Flight control are free on Android. I have both. Some of the others I am not familiar with, but I'm sure I could find similar apps for free.

    Also, most of those are games. I mean actual apps that would provide some kind of improvement to the phone. Such as a GPS, music player, etc. app.

    This post was edited by Dale fn Gribble 3 years ago

  • jimmywalker said... (original post)

    Android has more free apps than the app store with Apple. It's because app makers and Android make money off advertisements on their free apps. Google has always been about giving out their product for free and making money off the companies that advertise on it. Apple has been more about covering their ridiculous marketing and logistic costs with overpriced, under performing crap.

    So in the 3 1/2 years since the iPhone shipped Apple's market cap has climbed 447% to $312B. In that same time period Google's market cap has dropped 27% to $168B. Seems ridiculous marketing and logistics costs + overpriced, under performing crap is kicking the shit out of advertising based models - at least as far as Wall Street is concerned.

  • CA Sparty said... (original post)

    CNN/Fortune just published an article listing the top 14 iPhone apps of all time. So let's look at those:

    #1 Angry Birds - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms #2 Moto Chaser - $0.99 on both platforms #3 Moron Test - $0.99 on both platforms #4 Flight Control - $0.99 on iOS, $2.99 on Android #5 iShoot - $0.99 on iOS, $1.99 on Android #6 Skee Ball - free and $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #7 Tiny Wings - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #8 Where's Waldo - $0.99 on iOS, $4.99 on Android #9 Angry Bird Rio - free and $0.99 versions on both platforms #10 Camera Zoom 3 - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #11 Secure AppBox - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #12 iFart Mobile - free and $0.99 versions on iOS, $0.99 on Android #13 Ocarina - $0.99 on iOS, not available on Android #14 Pocket God - $0.99 on iOS, $4.99 on Android

    Not seeing anything on that list that is free on Android and not on iOS. I do see several that are more expensive on Android or not available at all. So I am not buying the "everything's on Android and it is free" argument.

    How about a "I bet I can find one just as good, for free" argument? The thing is is that I don't really play games on my phone, I use it for more nerdy, computery type stuff. I don't mind the ads on the free stuff. As a developer you can pay 30% off the top or you can try the smaller Android market and put ads in your apps and maybe have some people buy it. Successful developers will find a way to make either or both models work. If as an Android user I have to wait for a developer to make enough money off of iphone users first before porting apps to Android, I'm fine with it. I play a free euchre game on my phone, that shit has been around forever.

  • Dale fn Gribble said... (original post)

    I know for a fact the Moron test and Flight control are free on Android. I have both. Some of the others I am not familiar with, but I'm sure I could find similar apps for free.

    Flight Control has a demo that is free - it is not the app that is on iOS. The equivalent on the iOS is $2.99.

    The Moron Test - Android app on AppBrain

    The Moron Test: Android app ( Are you a complete idiot? What about your friends, coworkers, and family?...

    http://www.appbrain.com/app/the-moron-test/com.distinctdev.tmt

    Flight Control | AppBrain Android Market

    Flight Control: Android app ( Keep the skies safe in Flight Control, the insanely addictive worldwide hit!...

    http://www.appbrain.com/app/flight-control/com.namcowireless.flightcontrol
  • nc2el said... (original post)

    How about a "I bet I can find one just as good, for free" argument? The thing is is that I don't really play games on my phone, I use it for more nerdy, computery type stuff. I don't mind the ads on the free stuff. As a developer you can pay 30% off the top or you can try the smaller Android market and put ads in your apps and maybe have some people buy it. Successful developers will find a way to make either or both models work. If as an Android user I have to wait for a developer to make enough money off of iphone users first before porting apps to Android, I'm fine with it. I play a free euchre game on my phone, that shit has been around forever.

    This just reinforces the point I made earlier in the thread that the iPhone and Android users are very different and hence the market for them is different.

    Android user: give them the free phone, free apps supported by ads, they are more than happy to take "just as good for free" or wait to see if a year app gets ported to Android vs spending $0.99.

    iPhone user: happy to pay for newer technology, better quality apps, and give it to them now.

    Again this is all fine and good but they are not the same market and developers will not, and do not, treat them the same way. It's like any consumer product market - different products for different market segments. The guy in the market for a Toyota is not the same as the guy in the market for a Mercedes. And no matter how much the guy in the Toyota tries to tell you his car gets you there just as fast as the Mercedes, he's still driving a Toyota. Android is not iOS and iOS is not Android.

  • 277Gunson said... (original post)

    So, if you went to the store and there was a FREE bag of chips and another bag of chips for $1.99, you would actually BUY the bag instead of taking a free one?

    How does that make ANY sense?

    I don't have a lot of apps, because I don't need a lot of apps. If I NEEDED an app and I had to pay for it, I probably would, but I don't NEED any app, really.

    Is the $1.99 bag better tasting?

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  • Trevor Barnes

    Dale fn Gribble said... (original post)

    This. Trevor, care to inform us on what awesome apps we are missing out on (I bet I can find one just as good, for free)?

    Im not saying there aren't free versions of these on Android, because i don't shop those apps regularly, but there are some paid apps I use on a daily basis.

    For one, LogMeIn has a great iPad app that is extremely stable. I use that to log in to my other computers. it's updated regularly and really polished.

    Another is Air Video which I use to watch streamed video from my computers. It converts any format on the fly and plays them flawlessly on both the iPhone and iPad.

    One more I use all the time is Magic Mouse. We have a Mac Mini media PC connected to our plasma and that app let's me use the iPhone or iPad as a trackpad mouse and keyboard for that computer.

    Then there's high quality games like Peggle, Plants vs. Zombie, a couple nice golf games, and games like Civilization.

    I'll also gladly pay for iPad native apps as well.

    Maybe all of the above is free on Android but ad supported. I really don't know.

    This post was edited by Trevor Barnes 3 years ago

  • CA Sparty said... (original post)

    This just reinforces the point I made earlier in the thread that the iPhone and Android users are very different and hence the market for them is different.

    Android user: give them the free phone, free apps supported by ads, they are more than happy to take "just as good for free" or wait to see if a year app gets ported to Android vs spending $0.99.

    iPhone user: happy to pay for newer technology, better quality apps, and give it to them now.

    Again this is all fine and good but they are not the same market and developers will not, and do not, treat them the same way. It's like any consumer product market - different products for different market segments. The guy in the market for a Toyota is not the same as the guy in the market for a Mercedes. And no matter how much the guy in the Toyota tries to tell you his car gets you there just as fast as the Mercedes, he's still driving a Toyota. Android is not iOS and iOS is not Android.

    I don't think the comparison is apt though. Android phones cover the whole spectrum, from entry-level free phones to the Chairman http://www.uncells.com/. There is only one model of iphone released every year-ish though. it is a nice phone, but hardware\spec wise it is more middle of the pack even on the day it is released.

  • Trevor Barnes said... (original post)

    LogMeIn has a great iPad app that is extremely stable. I use that to log in to my other computers. it's updated regularly and really polished.

    Tell me more...

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  • Snake Plissken said... (original post)

    Is the $1.99 bag better tasting?

    Not really, but you do get 1/3 more of a bag if you pay for it.

    signature image signature image signature image

    There's a time and a place for everything and it's called college.

  • Trevor Barnes

    Snake Plissken said... (original post)

    Tell me more...

    It's the most expensive app I own and it's paid for itself over and over and over. Basically it let's you remote desktop in to all of your PCs. I've used it to access all my PCs over the years and use it to troubleshoot my parents and in-laws' computers. The only "monitor" I have hooked up to my Mac Mini media server is my TV so I use LMI to access it all the time. It's nice because I don't have to worry about firewalls or if someone's IP address changes. It just works, securely, 100% of the time.

  • Trevor Barnes said... (original post)

    Im not saying there aren't free versions of these on Android, because i don't shop those apps regularly, but there are some paid apps I use on a daily basis.

    For one, LogMeIn has a great iPad app that is extremely stable. I use that to log in to my other computers. it's updated regularly and really polished.

    Another is Air Video which I use to watch streamed video from my computers. It converts any format on the fly and plays them flawlessly on both the iPhone and iPad.

    One more I use all the time is Magic Mouse. We have a Mac Mini media PC connected to our plasma and that app let's me use the iPhone or iPad as a trackpad mouse and keyboard for that computer.

    Then there's high quality games like Peggle, Plants vs. Zombie, a couple nice golf games, and games like Civilization.

    I'll also gladly pay for iPad native apps as well.

    Maybe all of the above is free on Android but ad supported. I really don't know.

    MoboPlayer, free version. no ads. It handles a good amount of file formats. I browse my files using a file explorer (free \no ads I think.) and then MoboPlayer takes it from there.

    RemoteDroid, free version. no ads.

    There is a LogMeIn app, but I haven't used it. I use it for work and it is really nice. I don't have a tablet, but if I did I would probably use it.

    Android is more of a nerd haven so there will always be developers, they might not have the corporate backing but it is not short on enthusiasts. Cyogen is a completely different FIRMWARE for Android phones and that is free.

    LogMeIn Ignition - Android app on AppBrain

    Get the LogMeIn Ignition Android app ( If it’s on your computer, it’s in the palm of your hand. Directly...

    http://www.appbrain.com/app/logmein-ignition/com.logmein.ignitionpro.android
  • nc2el said... (original post)

    I don't think the comparison is apt though. Android phones cover the whole spectrum, from entry-level free phones to the Chairman http://www.uncells.com/. There is only one model of iphone released every year-ish though. it is a nice phone, but hardware\spec wise it is more middle of the pack even on the day it is released.

    True - there are some really nice Android phones out there. But the typical Android user is not carrying one of those phones. So as a developer, when you look at the number of users on Android and try and decide if there is a market there for your app, you have to ask yourself what percentage of the market has a phone which is technically able to run my app and are those users willing to pay money for an app? In many cases the size of that market is a fraction of the overall Android user base and therefore a fraction of the iOS installed base.

    Add in the fact that to address that market you may need to build and test your app to run on 20 different phones and it becomes an easy decision. Spend your time developing an app on iOS that has an addressable market of 160M with one build, or spend your time developing an app you are going to have to build and test for 20 different phones to hit an addressable market of say 25M users - most of whom have not exhibited a willingness to pay for apps?

  • Trevor Barnes

    CA Sparty said... (original post)

    True - there are some really nice Android phones out there. But the typical Android user is not carrying one of those phones. So as a developer, when you look at the number of users on Android and try and decide if there is a market there for your app, you have to ask yourself what percentage of the market has a phone which is technically able to run my app and are those users willing to pay money for an app? In many cases the size of that market is a fraction of the overall Android user base and therefore a fraction of the iOS installed base.

    Add in the fact that to address that market you may need to build and test your app to run on 20 different phones and it becomes an easy decision. Spend your time developing an app on iOS that has an addressable market of 160M with one build, or spend your time developing an app you are going to have to build and test for 20 different phones to hit an addressable market of say 25M users - most of whom have not exhibited a willingness to pay for apps?

    This makes a lot of sense. Your posts in this thread have been very helpful. This really wasn't an iOS vs. Android thread, I just wanted to understand why Android users aren't buying apps. Seems like that needs to change in the longrun.

  • CA Sparty said... (original post)

    True - there are some really nice Android phones out there. But the typical Android user is not carrying one of those phones. So as a developer, when you look at the number of users on Android and try and decide if there is a market there for your app, you have to ask yourself what percentage of the market has a phone which is technically able to run my app and are those users willing to pay money for an app? In many cases the size of that market is a fraction of the overall Android user base and therefore a fraction of the iOS installed base.

    Add in the fact that to address that market you may need to build and test your app to run on 20 different phones and it becomes an easy decision. Spend your time developing an app on iOS that has an addressable market of 160M with one build, or spend your time developing an app you are going to have to build and test for 20 different phones to hit an addressable market of say 25M users - most of whom have not exhibited a willingness to pay for apps?

    I'm not a developer so I don't know, but I would think the model or manufacturer of the phone would not matter so much as the version of the OS. You make an app that runs on Froyo and\or Honeycomb and you're set.

  • CA Sparty said... (original post)

    True - there are some really nice Android phones out there. But the typical Android user is not carrying one of those phones. So as a developer, when you look at the number of users on Android and try and decide if there is a market there for your app, you have to ask yourself what percentage of the market has a phone which is technically able to run my app and are those users willing to pay money for an app? In many cases the size of that market is a fraction of the overall Android user base and therefore a fraction of the iOS installed base.

    Add in the fact that to address that market you may need to build and test your app to run on 20 different phones and it becomes an easy decision. Spend your time developing an app on iOS that has an addressable market of 160M with one build, or spend your time developing an app you are going to have to build and test for 20 different phones to hit an addressable market of say 25M users - most of whom have not exhibited a willingness to pay for apps?

    This doesn't make much sense. it doesn't matter what the device is, each of them are able to run apps.

    The reason app users don't pay for apps is because they don't have to. It's basic economics and I can't believe how absent this concept has been in this thread. When free apps are available that do the same things as apps that have a cost, the users will obviously choose the free apps. There are thousands and thousands of applications in the app market. Why would I pay $1 for the real Tetris when a clone of that game is available for free? Why would i pay for Touchdown exchange for android when the native HTC mail app does everything a lot better...and it's free?

    I'm just surprised that this concept was lost on so many here...

  • nc2el said... (original post)

    I'm not a developer so I don't know, but I would think the model or manufacturer of the phone would not matter so much as the version of the OS. You make an app that runs on Froyo and\or Honeycomb and you're set.

    and Bingo is his name-oh.

  • Just looked at the top paid apps for Android. Two of the top five are only useful if you have rooted your phone. That's a small segment of Android users. Only 4 of the top 14 are games compared to 11\12 for iOS ( I don't know what Ocarina is). Android is available on more devices but the paid apps are skewed more towards power users. iOS apps reach a lot more people, including kids which I think probably speaks more to why games do so great in Apple's app store.

  • Only Apple nerds could possibly spin not having to buy as many apps on a phone into a 'bad thing'.

    I will give you credit though Trevor, at least you are consistent. You will stick to your guns no matter the result. (See: This new board)

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  • Iphone user so serious question. What do you Android people have in place for iTunes? Amazon? As for the apps. I can say I only use a handful. Most of them I never touch. Like that bar code scanner. It is cool to show it off like some sort of magic trick but I never use it in real life.