Tuesday, September 1, 2009

iPhone beats Android 250:1

Matt Hall on his Larva Labs blog laments lousy sales on Android Market, both for his apps and those by other companies. For one application, the iPhone App Store is outselling Android Market 250:1, while (as a commenter notes) the iPhone installed base advantage is only 15:1.

The conclusions are based on AdMob data, which notes that iPhone/iPodTouch owners are 2x as likely to buy paid apps as Android users. (That would only suggest a 30x discrepancy between the two platforms).

Hall laments several aspects of the Android Market shopping experience. It’s not clear whether these decisions are just implementation errors that are easily fixed, or systematic choices, perhaps (as Hall suggests) reflecting a bias towards free apps.

The latter point I don‘t quite follow: Google is making money off of Android (through increased use of its ad-supported online services), so what’s wrong with the software developers making money? Google has already so commoditized mobile phone software — and Apple has established a standard $1 price point for most paid apps — that smartphone app developers already face a considerable challenge in monetizing their creative efforts. Why force a zero price rather than a near-zero price?

No comments: