Android Apps Gets Downloaded More, and are Pricier than iPhone Apps

Here’s another piece that puts Google and Apple head-to-head: it’s not about devices or software, it’s actually about the apps.  Did you know that Android apps cost more than iOS apps? It’s an interesting thought, considering the Apple App Store drives higher revenues for app developers than the Android Market.

According to a new survey from Canalys, Android apps cost 2.5 times more than iOS apps.  In the US, the top 100 paid apps in the Android Market could sum up to $374.37 or $3.74 per app, while the top 100 iOS paid-for apps cost $147 or $1.47 per app.  Canalys analysts figured that Apple understands the app market and consumer behavior better, that’s why their apps are priced in a more controlled manner than Android’s.  There’s also growing profits from the in-app purchasing that happens from that.

“It is clear that apps or games that prove to be runaway successes on the iPhone do not automatically prove to be so popular with Android smart phone users,” said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Shepherd.

“Apple’s App Store and the Android Market are very different retail environments. The former is now a mature but still very closely controlled retail environment, while the latter remains more open but also less secure and consumer friendly. As such, developers and publishers use the stores in different ways. Electronic Arts, for example, regularly offers discounts across its portfolio of games in the App Store to ensure they remain visible to customers by featuring in the top app lists. Price competitiveness is crucial in Apple’s store, where the vast majority of top paid apps cost just $0.99, in a way that is not the case in the Android Market. This leads to disparities whereby an app such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market, but is discounted to just $0.99 in the Apple App Store.”

Though Android apps cost more, they are overtaking downloads in the U.K., Germany, and Russia.  According toXylogic’s analysis, “the gap between Apple and Android is fairly big: the U.K. had 90.9 million app downloads for iOS, with 99.1 million for Android. Germany saw 59.5 million app downloads for iOS and 64.9 million on Android; and Russia had 38.4 million iOS downloads with 41.9 million for Android.”  Not only that, it is expected that the US market may soon follow in the Android domination.

Quirky Twist

But here’s the funny thing: though Android apps cost more and are being downloaded more, iOS apps bring more revenue than Android apps.  According to Apple Insider’s report based on Flurry Analytics’ findings, “several top apps with both iOS and Android versions reveals that every $1.00 generated on iOS by an app corresponds to $0.24 in revenue for the Android version.”

“Flurry’s finding states that since app purchase in the Apple App Store requires an iTunes account tied with a credit card or a gift card, more users readily purchase apps compared to the Android Market or any other Android app store which doesn’t have that requirement,” said the flurry report.  “However, the largest single factor that appears to impact developer support for the platform is the consumer’s ability to pay.  This comes down to Google Checkout penetration.  Upon setting up an iOS device, a consumer must associate either a credit or gift card to her iTunes account.  In theory, this means that 100% of all iOS device users are payment enabled.  This has not been the case for Android, resulting in lower revenue generation possibilities on the platform.  With the recent integration of Google Wallet and Google Checkout, as well as their current $0.10 Android app sale to spur new account sign-ups, Google appears to be taking steps to correct this.”

And with Apple’s acquisition of Chomp, the app search engine that powers Verizon’s Android app search as well as app search for iOS and Android devices in general, they will have a better grasp of knowing what consumers want and better control of app prices since they would know the right price of apps that appeals to their consumers.

Marketing Strategy

If you’re one of those people always looking for freebies (Who doesn’t love freebies?), and you happen to be an Android user, and you you want to move your files to a cloud storage, you are in luck.

Box is offering 50GB free storage for Android users until March 23, 2012.  Fandroids just need to download the Box app for Android then login to automatically receive the free 50GB account upgrade.

Here’s the catch, Box for Android doesn’t offer a free desktop sync tool, so users can’t automatically back up their files online. Box’s desktop app is only available for professional accounts $15 per month.  Also, unpaid users are still restricted to the lowest file size limit of 25 MB per file, if they want to upgrade to a 1 GB file size limit they have to pay $10 per month.